Everything’s Coming up Peonies

When we think of the health and beauty benefits of flowers, it’s the rose (Was Crabtree & Evelyn’s Rosewater hand cream as much a staple of everyone’s childhood as it was mine?) that gets all the glory. (Though L’Occitane’s lavender bubble bath is a likely standout too.) But this hasn’t always been the case. While the rose has a plethora of powerful properties, and lavender is a top choice for relaxation, they are not the only floral species worth their salt at Sephora.

The peony is as powerful as it is pretty, with medicinal properties that have been soothing and calming a plethora of ailments for centuries. Today, the “Queen of Flowers” (as it is sometimes called) makes a cameo in many of today’s best beauty products. In fact, it’s more accurate to say it’s “the star.”

Recent studies have shown that formulations made with peony extract (derived from its root) can boost the skin’s microcirculation, calm inflammation, brighten, protect, and even-out pigmentation for improved skin tone.

Frankly, we would like to soak ourselves in it. For the sake of practicality, we can recommend the following products:

For sensitive or irritated skin, try Darphin INTRAL Redness Relief Cream, $94. If you love it, you can (as of last month!) find the rest of the French beauty line in-stores, or at sephora.com.

For a brightening boost, try Fresh Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask, $81. Fresh is adding a brightening cleanser, and face cream to its existing Peony Collection in May.

For on-the-go refreshment, try L’Occitane Peony Perfecting Mist, $25. The mist is perfect for a summertime refresher, but the rest of the line is absolutely wonderful as well. Three new products (a perfecting toner, make-up remover, and scrub) will be added in May.