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The rare and seemingly delicate edelweiss plant is native to the Swiss Alps, but it’s cropping up all over our skincare aisles. Here’s why: Researchers have found that the flower’s ability to withstand the cold, high-altitude Alpine climate could also benefit skin. The white bloom is rich in antioxidants that have anti-microbial properties and are supposedly able to reduce free-radical damage caused by environmental toxins like pollution and cigarette smoke.

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The flower also has anti-inflammatory benefits, as it has luteolin and beta-sitosterol. The latter – a plant sterol with UV light-absorbing compounds that help to prevent sun damage – soothes inflamed skin, reduces melanin production and lightens dark spots, while the former is a bioflavanoid that has anti-allergy properties.

So, it’s really no wonder that the stem cells and extracts from this flower have now been put to use in the latest skincare products as potent anti-ageing and brightening ingredients.

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Mary Kay Melacep Plus+ Ultimate Serum, $160.
I find this brightening serum lightweight but also moisturising. It smells of peaches and doesn’t leave my skin feeling sticky. My skin looked clearer and less blotchy after use.

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Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask, $44.90.
This overnight anti-ageing gel mask has the most amazing texture. It’s thick (but not heavy) and “bouncy” to the touch, and forms a layer on my face to help lock in moisture. When I use it at night, my skin looks moist and dewy the next morning. Plus, the fine lines appear less obvious.

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Dior Diorsnow White Perfection Anti-spot & Transparency Brightening Serum, $150.
Just one pump dispenses enough for my entire face, and is quickly absorbed. After just a few days of use, my complexion looked less sallow.

Product photos: Darren Chang, Main photos: Click photos & Corbis, Model photo: showbit.com

This story was first published in HerWorld Magazine June 2015.

Love using whitening products? Get more from your beauty whitening routine after finding out the biggest brightening myths!