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As women, they say we will try anything to look good. There are bewildering substances I have heard of and tested here at FutureDerm in skin care products: Queen bee royal jelly, bovine extract, “dragon’s blood,” placenta extract, mink oil, emu oil, shark liver oil, and now orchid oil.
What Does Orchid Oil Do?
Unlike most of the others, orchid oil may do more than provide hydration. According to at least one study, orchid oil may help to boost UVB protection significantly when used in conjunction with a sunscreen (H&PC, 2012). The reasons for this are likely to be the constituents of the orchid itself, which include vitamin C. Of course, are you likely to get more from a concentrated vitamin C serum? Of course. But it doesn’t hurt that this is a benefit of using orchid oil or extract on the skin.
Is Orchid Oil Safe?
Orchid oil also appears to be (mostly) safe for the skin. Those with particularly sensitive skin may find that they have an allergic reaction (Archives of Dermatology, 1980). But overall, the ingredient is safe and effective.
What are the Best Products with Orchid Oil?
Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil ($41.99, Amazon.com; $62.00 retail). This hazelnut-based oil is bursting with omega-3’s, which are fatty acids that reduce inflammation and hydrate when applied topically to the skin (Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2002). Omega-3’s may also play a role in preventing skin cancer (Cancer Detection and Prevention, 2006).
This product is best used alone by those with normal-dry to dry skin. Hazelnut oil can be pore-clogging when used with other ingredients, because it can trap other ingredients against the skin. Therefore, use Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil at night, immediately after cleansing, and don’t use anything else that night to avoid pore-clogging.
Oxygen Botanicals Oxygen Super Hydrating Cream ($61.70, Skin Care by Alana.com) also contains orchid oil, in addition to antioxidant vitamin E and hydrating hyaluronic acid. Unlike most products that contain oxygen, which contain hydrogen peroxide and other oxides that can be detrimental to the skin, Oxygen Botanicals Oxygen Super Hydrating Cream merely infuses, or treats, each individual ingredient with oxygen. On the one hand, this probably doesn’t do much of anything, but on the other hand, this product contains so many good hydrators, I don’t care. It goes on the skin thick, but dries quickly and evenly. Best for normal to dry skin types. Best of all, it can be used nightly after a retinoid or AHA treatment, and during the day after an antioxidant serum and before a sunscreen.
Orchid oil is one of the few “hip” ingredients I really love! With UVB protection, hydrating ability, and a pretty high safety/non-irritating potential, it is a solid “natural” ingredient I support.