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Khiel’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence, $75.
Photo of product: Darren Chang, Illustration: Sherli Chong, Photo of iris: Clickphotos

When it comes to beauty products, most of us associate the iris with powdery, floral fragrances. However, the flower is also used in skincare as a potent ingredient that is said to give you a smoother, brighter complexion.

It has earned a place in Kiehl’s latest product, Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence ($75), which combats signs of ageing with root extract from the iris florentina, a variety grown in the Mediterranean region.

The flowers are harvested by hand between spring and autumn, when they have a high level of flavonoids – antioxidant pigments that are said to protect skin and keep it looking youthful.

These properties are useful in a beauty product, because as we age, our skin’s texture becomes uneven and lines become more visible due to a loss of elasticity. Skin also loses its radiance, as light doesn’t reflect off a rough surface as well as it does a smooth one.

Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence is thought to help by stimulating proteins in skin and boosting its elasticity so it stays plump. It is also formulated to improve the skin’s structure so your complexion looks line-free, and it locks in moisture for up to 24 hours post-application.

The essence has brightening benefits too, thanks to lipo hydroxy acid, which stimulates the natural exfoliation process to reduce skin dullness.

After cleansing your face, pat this essence on. It is absorbed in two minutes. After two weeks of daily use, my face felt smoother and looked radiant. For a quick pick-me-up, soak cotton pads with the essence and leave them on your face for five minutes – this works wonders when your complexion looks dull and tired.

This story was first published in HerWorld Magazine May 2015.

Check out this other flower which is great for anti-ageing as well!