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The Timeless Greatness of Rose in Natural Cosmetics: A Journey from Ancient Times to a Promising Future

Could you name another plant that is more associated to natural beauty, elegance and passion than the rose? Beyond its visual allure, the rose boasts a profound symbolic and performance-driven presence in the beauty realm, and it is not a recent trend.

Since ancient times, the rose has captivated civilisations with its timeless beauty, enchanting fragrance, and strong symbolism. However, its significance reaches far beyond its aesthetic appeal. The rose has long been cherished for its remarkable properties in natural cosmetics, which have withstood the test of time since their domestication. The enduring elegance of roses as a skincare ingredient is unmatched, woven into the realm of beauty by its distinctive appeal. With its gentle nature, it has proven to be a versatile element suitable for all skin types.

In this article by Crodarom and Alban Muller, we will explore the greatness of rose in natural cosmetics, from its historical significance to its relevance in today's beauty industry. Furthermore, we will explore the ways in which roses can function as a valuable marketing tool for brands. They indeed showcase a true potential to provide sustainable beauty solutions, with benefits extending from providing nourishing hydration and protective properties to delivering anti-aging effects.

The timeless greatness of rose in natural cosmetics

Rose's Beauty Secrets Through the Millennia

Roses have a rich historical significance, dating back to ancient times. For thousands of years, civilisations across the globe, including the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Persians, recognised and harnessed the extraordinary benefits of roses to enhance natural beauty. Rose petals were used to create luxurious oils, creams, and perfumes, for their regenerative and rejuvenating properties. The presence of vitamins C, along with essential fatty acids, helps to hydrate, soothe, and nourish the skin.

Even today, rose continues to reign in the world of natural cosmetics. It possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties that calm irritated skin and reduce redness. The flower's natural antioxidants protect the skin from environmental stressors, delaying signs of ageing. Rose-based products also possess mild astringent properties, tightening and toning the skin to reveal a youthful glow. Furthermore, the rose's symbolic representation of love, beauty and femininity makes it a perfect ingredient for cosmetic products.

Why are roses still so appealing in modern cosmetics?

Both ancient and modern cultures have used roses in plant-based treatments, a testament to the intrinsic wisdom of nature.

In our contemporary era, consumers are actively seeking more natural, sustainable beauty products. The rose offers an exceptional opportunity for brands to cater to these demands. The natural components of rose have gained popularity due to their proven efficacy and gentle nature. These ingredients act as powerful moisturizers, balancing the skin's hydration levels and improving its overall texture and appearance.

Moreover, the intoxicating scent of roses is widely sought after in the fragrance industry, making it an appealing choice for cosmetics as they are for perfumes. The calming and mood-enhancing emotive qualities of roses can provide a luxurious and pampering experience to consumers, reducing stress and promoting relaxation, thus enhancing overall well-being. 

Rose: A strong potential still to explore!

The potential of roses extends beyond their beauty and fragrance. Recent research has identified bioactive compounds within roses that can be extracted and harnessed for well-being and natural beauty. Rose extracts, rich in polyphenols and flavonoids, possess antioxidant properties that contribute to the vitality of the skin.

The study of the genome of Rosa gallica, one of the most ancient roses, shows a promising future for the use of rose in natural cosmetics. The complete sequencing of the rose genome was done in 2018 and published in Nature Genetics. It showed a great number of similarities that can be established between rose biochemistry and human biology. The most interesting of these are a set of genes in the rose genomes that are expressed in petals for defence and stress-related protection with an evident analogy with human skin biology, including:

  • Autophagic regulatory mechanisms.i
  • Petal senescence mechanisms after flowering, due to increased endogenous H2O2 levels and a decrease in the activity of antioxidant enzymes.ii

These mechanisms have been developed by roses to deal with various environmental struggles such as heat stress due to high temperature conditions, that promotes flower senescence, as well as drought stress, which can severely limit their growth and flowering. Volatile terpenes have been shown to be involved in the response to abiotic stress conditions and eliminate the stress-induced accumulation of radical oxygen species (ROS).iii

A parallel can be drawn between these defence mechanisms and the skin ageing linked to decreased hydration levels. Low moisture levels can cause skin homeostasis to deviate, causing significant changes in skin properties and functions, including a decreasing dermis thickness, a lower elasticity, and an increasing skin roughness.iv

Rose offers many assets to modern cosmetics

Why are roses an unrivalled marketing asset?

As we move towards a future where sustainability and conscious consumerism play crucial roles, the rose can serve as a valuable marketing asset for beauty brands. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the ecological impact of their purchases, making sustainability an essential factor in their decision-making process.

When organically grown and responsibly sourced, roses provide a renewable and eco-friendly ingredient for performant beauty products. Depending on the variety, roses offer various benefits:

  • Nourishing hydration, thanks to their natural oils that aid in moisture retention, a key selling point for cosmetic products.
  • Anti-ageing benefits, to minimise the signs of ageing and maintain a youthful radiance, thanks to the antioxidants that help neutralise free radicals.
  • Soothing and calming effect, with their gentle nature of roses, a particularly appealing asset for consumers who have sensitive skin.

Additionally, the rich history and romantic connotations associated with roses can enhance a brand's storytelling. Rose-infused products can be marketed as timeless treasures steeped in femininity, tradition and elegance. This unique association make rose a desirable ingredient that relates to consumers. Aligning a product with the rose can elevate a brand's image and foster emotional connections with consumers.

Crodarom and Alban Muller offer a range of rose extracts to bring the wonders of the rose to everyone’s skin. Let’s take a journey to discover these ingredients, produced with a selection of inspiring, active-rich varieties, starting with Crodarom’s latest launch.

Natural hydration with Phytessence™ French Rose EC

Already described by botanists in the 1st century AD from West Europe to Asia, the Rosa gallica variety has been used since then for its tonic and astringent virtues, as well as for its fragrances. This ancient wild rose has always been the unfailing symbol of love.

Crodarom launched Phytessence™ French Rose EC this autumn, an extract of Rosa gallica flowers. Every step of the manufacturing process is done to preserve the quality of the Rosa gallica active molecules: from manual harvest in organic farms to Crodarom’s innovative and sustainable Eco-sound™ extraction process. This gentle ultrasound-assisted process allows to preserve the heat-sensitive molecules of Rosa gallica, while assuring high ecological performance.

Phytessence™ French Rose EC has been designed as the floral elixir for naturally hydrated skin, thanks to the hydrating properties of its flavonoids. This new extract moisturises the skin, visually improves its quality and preserves skin youthfulness, to reveal its natural beauty.This new extract is an ideal ingredient for a natural moisturising serum, and hydrating face mist or a tinted perfecting care! The Rosa gallica extract, abundant in natural polyphenols and carbohydrates, plays an interesting role in replenishing and preserving skin moisture, resulting in a smooth complexion. Thanks to its natural humectant qualities, it draws and retains moisture, making it an excellent option for hydration. Its mild astringent characteristics contribute to toning the skin, and the diverse botanical components assist in achieving an even skin tone by diminishing the presence of inflammatory mediators and the glycation phenomenon.

Associated with the symbolic of love, gentleness and femininity of Rosa gallica, Phytessence™ French Rose EC is an ideal ingredient for the Fem Care trend, dedicated at providing care, comfort and well-being to woman at every moment of their lives. Discover Fem Care and the other beauty concepts that will shape the beauty industry next year in our Beauty Trends 2024 blog article.

Rosa gallica and Phytessence French Rose EC

Love and sweetness with Cosme-Phytami™ Rose

Rosa centifolia, renowned as the hundred-petaled rose or the cabbage rose, has been knows since ancient times and is still found in the wild. The exquisite fragrance and the phenolic compounds content of its petals make it a prised ingredient in the beauty and perfumes industry.

In traditional Western culture, this rose represents love, passion, and romance. Furthermore, the rose's beauty and delicacy have made it a popular subject for art and literature, where it is used to express emotions such as joy, beauty, and gratitude.

Introducing Cosme-Phytami™ Rose, produced by Alban Muller. This inspiring ingredient captures the emotive essence of Rosa centifolia, making it a stellar choice in skin tonic, after-sun or anti-ageing formulations packed with the symbolic of love and joy. Cosme-Phytami™ Rose is quantified in phenolic compounds.

Rosa Centifolia and Rosewater EC

A refreshed and tonified skin with Rosewater EC

Crodarom’s Rosewater EC is an extract of flowers of organic Rosa damascena, commonly known as Damask Rose, and as one of most important scented rose species, originating from Central Asia. The petals of Rosa damascena are rich in essential oils that provide deep hydration and moisturisation to the skin. This variety is also renowned for its anti-ageing properties, thanks to its high antioxidant content that helps combat free radicals and promote youthful-looking skin. Additionally, its soothing and calming effects make it ideal for sensitive skin types.

Rosewater EC is a luxurious floral water to enhance the quality of cosmetic products, that captures the phenols and essential oil contents of Rosa damascena, to provide antioxidant, astringent, soothing and refreshing properties of this variety to skincare. A great asset for anti-acne facial washes, cleansing gels or intimate hygiene products!

Rosa Damascena and Cosme-Phytami Rose

How do Crodarom and Alban Muller ensure sustainable rose extracts?

By incorporating these practices and ingredients, beauty products featuring rose flowers can be created in a more sustainable manner. Ultimately, this approach allows consumers to enjoy the beauty benefits of roses while minimising the environmental footprint of the cosmetic product.

To create a sustainable beauty active with rose flowers, several key ingredients and practices are utilised by Crodarom and Alban Muller, the two botanical experts of Croda Personal Care, both located in France. Here are two important features of how they ensure sustainability, along with efficient water and energy management and waste reduction all along the ingredient life cycle.

Organic and ethically sourced rose flowers

As much as it is possible, the botanical experts of Croda select suppliers to ensure that the rose flowers are grown organically, without the use of synthetic pesticides or chemicals.

A great example of this exceptional sourcing is Phytessence™ French Rose EC, launched this autumn by Crodarom. This new product is an extract of Rosa gallica flowers cultivated in Southern France in family-scale farms involved in organic and responsible agricultural practices, with a strong know-how and no chemical treatment. This geographical proximity allows minimised transport of raw materials between the farms and Crodarom’s factory.

Many steps of the agronomic model are defined to be as close to wild conditions as possible. This starts with the choice of varieties, which is important to minimise the cultural interventions. The choice of Rosa gallica is significant due to its resistance to disease and harsh weather conditions: cold winters, hot and dry summers, which allows minimised interventions by farmers all along the flower cycle. The roses flowers are also manually harvested in a non-destructive technique to preserve the quality of the flower as well as the health of the rosebush.

Not only Crodarom chose organic farms as suppliers of Rosa gallica, but they made sure to build ethical partnerships with the farms in a fair-trade approach, with a very transparent and open relationship. This direct collaboration ensures a win-win partnership with top-notch raw material quality, an optimised production process for cosmetic uses, as well as safe working conditions in the farms and a substantial trade price.

Eco-friendly extraction methods

To minimise their environmental impacts, Crodarom and Alban Muller take pride in using extraction methods that minimize the use of solvents and chemicals as well as the consumption of water and energy.

The process of Cosme-Phytami™ Rose includes Alban Muller’s unique and innovative Zeodration technology, a green alternative to conventional drying methods. Before titration and formulation in glycerin, the rose extract is dried by a combination of vacuum and low temperature, causing the water to evaporate. This allows the production process to avoid drying additives and high energy consumption (about a third of the lyophilisation). The active molecules are preserved thanks to a low drying temperature (40° max). This Zeodration process is used to craft all the Cosme-Phytami™ references.

Another example of environmentally friendly process is the Eco-Sound™ extraction method used by Crodarom to produce Phytessence™ French Rose EC. The gentle extraction conditions use the mechanical waves of ultrasounds to weaken the cell membranes and release metabolites into the solvent. This allows low energy consumption (< 9 Wh/kg of product) as well as low CO2 emissions, while preserving heat-sensitive molecules. Thanks to these exceptional sustainability assets, this extraction method has been COSMOS approved and recognised as an eco-responsible technology by the ERI360 label.

Rosewater EC is not an exception. Crodarom uses the steam distillation to obtain this botanical extract. Alongside the development of modern technologies with strong ecological performance (one of the main selection criteria when choosing new technologies), Crodarom has also worked hard to optimise the conventional technologies, as part of their strategy to reaffirm their commitment to the ISO14001 certification and the respect of the environment.

Crodarom relies on its ethical sourcing strategy to propose sustainable extracts

 

The enduring grace of roses as a skincare ingredient remains unparalleled, intricately woven into the beauty landscape by its unique charm. Its versatility shines through for all skin types, offering benefits ranging from nourishing hydration to remarkable anti-aging properties, along with a strong and timeless symbolic value.

From ancient times to the present day, roses have been revered for their exceptional beauty benefits, and Crodarom and Alban Muller products highlight the rich history, natural cosmetic properties, and sustainable attributes that make the rose an ideal ingredient for brands looking to cater to conscientious consumers. The future still holds endless possibilities for this timeless flower, as ongoing research continues to unveil its hidden treasures. A perfect opportunity for Aura Beauty, mixing ancient traditions to the latest scientific and technologic advances to provide authentic and innovative cosmetic products!

As we embrace the greatness of rose in natural cosmetics, Alban Muller and Crodarom ensure that the legacy of this captivating flower carries on, bringing beauty and contentment to generations to come.

 

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Sources

iRogers, HJ. From models to ornamentals: how is flower senescence regulated? Plant Molecular Biology. 2012, Vol. 82, 6, pp. 563–574.
iiKumar N, Srivastava GC, Dixit K. Senescence in rose (Rosa hybrida L.): role of the endogenous antioxidant system. The Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology. 2008, Vol. 83, 1, pp. 125-131.
iii Yan Y, Li M, Zhang X, Kong W, Bendahmane M, Bao M, Fu X. Tissue-Specific Expression of the Terpene Synthase Family Genes in Rosa chinensis and Effect of Abiotic Stress Conditions. Genes. 2022, Vol. 13, 157.
iv Fluhr JW, Elsner P, Berardesca E, Maibach HI. Bioengineering of the Skin: Water and the Stratum Corneum. s.l.: CRC press, 2004.
Phytessence French Rose EC Cover

Phytessence™ French Rose EC

Unveil the skin's natural beauty with Crodarom's latest extract! Eco-designed to provide the hydrating, protecting and soothing properties of locally sourced organic rose flowers!

Alban Muller and Crodarom's 2023 catalogue

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