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Mystery ingredient, revealed!

Quick, pop quiz time. Riddle me this: What do Julie Andrews (or Lady Gaga) and perfectly porcelain complexion have in common? Answer: Leontopodium alpinum.

Leontopodium what? Non-botanists out there, that’ll be the edelweiss – yes, that famous flower whose praises have been sung to high heaven by the divine Julie Andrews in that priceless piece of childhood cinematography, The Sound of Music. Because who hasn’t spent their primary school years jiggling along to Julie’s alpine adventures?

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But back to the herb at hand. If us beauty pundits are right, this pretty posy is poised to become the next big brightening superstar.

Why? Take it from an expert advocate: “Our findings show that the edelweiss releases a molecule when exposed to UV rays which enables it to maintain its perfect colour balance – that’s how it stays white even though it grows in harsh conditions,” notes Takayoshi Sakoda, research and development director of the Asia Innovation Centre at Parfums Christian Dior. “When used in skincare, edelweiss extract can have the same effect on skin.” Snowy white flower, super bright skin?

Also intriguing are the claims that edelweiss extract soothes stress-induced inflammation, forges collagen fibres and mitigates melanin production, the sum result of which is skin as beautifully milky as the mountainous blossom itself. Talk about flower power, eh.

Where to find, what to buy?

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Naturally, I’ll have first dibs on Dior’s decadent Diorsnow White Perfection Anti-Spot & Transparency Brightening Serum (from $150). Distilled with the finest flowers gleaned from the gorgeous Valais Garden in Switzerland, this silky salve is said to “correct” colour balance and cancel out yellow pigments for the creamiest complexion yet. A serum that functions as an Instagram filter on standby? Yes, please!

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What else? I’m also in love with Ioma Paris’ posh new White Revelation Bright Pearl Essence ($250). An ace showcase of the cult cosmeceutical brand’s sciencey prowess, the pump dispenser delivers micro-spheres of edelweiss extract enveloped in a watery womb of skincare superheroes: Think vitamins A, B3, C, hyaluronic acid and pentavitin. Beauty bonus: The “slip” of this next-gen serum does double duty as the perfect priming agent for makeup application.

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Speaking of warpaint, we’ll be remiss without an honourable mention of The Body Shops’ Drops of Youth Wonderblur ($42.90), an exciting evolutionary “missing link” that’s true to its name of blurring the lines between skincare and makeup. Boasting exotic babassu oil and edelweiss stem cell extracts, you’re meant to tap a tiny bit of this translucent brightening balm into your skin just before foundation for a perfectly pore-free finish.

So yes, my beauty bet’s on the edelweiss becoming a mainstay in brightening skincare regimes in the foreseeable flawless future. Because hey, as the inimitable Julie Andrews once predicted, blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow. Bless!