Helichrysum, or Immortelle, is a beloved ingredient in the clean skin care industry. And with a name like Immortelle, its hard to believe this plant has anything but magical properties.
This botanical powerhouse is full of our favorite things: antioxidants, flavonoids, hydration, and soothing properties. Conventional skin care products use several different synthetic ingredients to achieve the anti-aging benefits that are all found in this one plant.
What is Helichrysum?
Helichrysum, or Immortelle, comes from a flowering plant in the daisy family, Helichrysum italicum.
The word helichrysum comes from the Greek word helios, or sun, and chrysos, or gold—in reference to the golden yellow flowers of the plant. Immortelle, is also a name in reference to the flowers, which blossom for a long period of time.
Where is helichrysum found?
The Helichrysum plant commonly grows in the Mediterranean, where it is native to, and prefers rocky, sandy environments. Historically, the dried helichrysum flowers were used In Ancient Greece as offerings to the gods in Ancient Greece, and in Medieval Europe as potpourri.
Today, helichrysum is commonly harvested in Croatia and around the Mediterranean. The dried shoots and leaves are used as seasoning in Mediterranean dishes, and the essential oil is a popular skin care ingredient.
Internal uses of Helichrysum
Historically, helichrysum has been used in herbalism for a myriad of internal conditions. Please note that this is the dried plant matter, and NOT the essential oil, as essential oils should not be ingested.
Helichrysum has been used internally for stomach issues: upset stomach, loss of appetite, and gallbladder and liver disorders such as gallstones.
Skin Care uses and benefits
Helichrysum is a darling of the natural skin care world. When used in skin care products, it is typically used in essential oil form.
It is rumored that the name Immortelle is also in reference to the plant's incredible anti-aging benefits. Helichrysum is an emollient, moisturizing oil that can help reduce the appearance of age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and even the appearance of skin tone and texture.
Stocked full of antioxidants, this oil can also help protect against environmental stressors. Antioxidants help revive the skin to it’s full radiance by working their magic on the appearance of dark spots caused by sun damage.
This oil is ideal for taking care of sun exposed skin, as it is incredibly soothing and rejuvenating.
Who should use helichrysum?
It is gentle enough for even those of us with sensitive skin, making it an accessible ingredient for all skin types.
A huge draw to immortelle is that it can serve dual purposes, by both moisturizing while still working effectively on oily skin. Those with oily skin may find it works to reduce the appearance of oil build ups while still delivering the moisture the skin needs. This oil works on reducing the appearance of blemishes, which can come hand in hand with oily skin.
In aromatherapy, helichrysum essential oil is typically utilized in a diffuser or mixed with carrier oils a natural stress-reliever.
The aroma is grounding, warming, and comforting, and mixes well with other stress relievers such as lavender or frankincense.
How to use Helichrysum
To use helichrysum essential oil for skin, mix with any of your favorite carrier oils to dilute. After diluting, perform a small patch test on an insensitive part of your body and watch for any type of reaction before using more widely.
You can use helichrysum in your skin care routine, or apply to any other areas of the body experiencing dryness.
For other calming uses, try adding a few drops to a bath or to your favorite massage oil. And of course, helichrysum is lovely in a diffuser