The fourth instalment in my series on Weleda’s Lead Plants brings me to the Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis), a plant reasonably well-known for its common use in treating menopausal symptoms – that was certainly my most basic knowledge of it, before I started learning more about this wonderful plant.
At its most basic, Evening Primrose is an herbaceous, usually biennial, flowering plant native to the Americas over a widespread area. Like the Silver Birch I wrote about a few weeks ago, they are pioneer plants, being amongst the first to colonise an area – in particular recently disturbed and poor soil – growing where other plants might otherwise initially struggle. It is called the “Evening” Primrose as it is one of a group of plants whose flowers open for pollination by evening and nocturnal insects such as moths and some species of bees.
“Although it grows on unpromising, dry and compacted soil, the evening primrose’s beautiful blossoms open up rapidly and completely, within a few minutes as dusk falls. They stay open for the entire night and the following morning, large golden blossoms illuminating the darkness of their surroundings and emerging beaming out of the darkness at dawn. In her growth and blossoming, the evening primrose connects the old day with the new.
The Evening Primrose was used by Native Americans as both a food and medicinal plant, but it is only comparatively recently that it has been used as a medicinal plant across the rest of the world – having been popular as a “cure all” when introduced to Europe in the 17th century. It is useful in treating itchy, inflamed skin (such as with eczema and dermatitis) and was also used to heal wounds. There have also been indications it is also useful for treating pre-menstrual and menopausal symptoms, amongst other applications, although more study needs to be done.
As we age, we produce less of the fatty acids needed to maintain our skin’s balance of moisture and as a result, our skin may tend to become dry and struggle to maintain elasticity. The oil extracted from the seeds of the Evening Primrose is high in omega 6 essential fatty acids such as Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), one of the sources of the Evening Primrose’s effectiveness in supporting the skin, helping to protect it against moisture loss and promoting cell growth and regeneration.
“At a later stage in life, women often enter a period of re-orientation. After being involved in everyday life for decades and being fulfilled by its organisation, women may now seek new mental-spiritual dimensions. Just like the evening primrose has freed herself from the usual rhythm of the plant world, by coming into bloom as night falls, the mature woman detaches herself from her previous everyday life and seizes emerging opportunities. She puts her trust in her experience and intuition to lead her life as an distinctive individual with her own role and tasks to achieve.
The Evening Primrose range is targeted at mature women in the 50+ age range, however, it is also helpful whatever your age if you are post menopausal, as the accompanying hormone changes can have an effect on your skin.
The range is naturally fragranced with cardamom, magnolia and sandalwood and the scent is floral and light, but gets deeper and more spicy post application.
FACIAL CARE RANGE
The Day Cream was the cream of choice for a client of mine (in her mid 50s) who had previously had many problems finding a suitable cream to use. She had gone through a series of creams, but had found that shortly after applying she would “break out in a sweat” and would have to wash it off. She’d spent quite an amount of money trying different creams, but to no avail. She booked a one-to-one skincare consultation and we explored some of the reasons she might be reacting in such a way and she enjoyed a complimentary facial using the Evening Primrose range and found that she didn’t react as she had done previously – yay (!) for Evening Primrose Revitalising Day Cream and Evening Primrose Age Revitalising Concentrate (and the Almond Soothing Facial Oil I use as part of the facials I do) that made such a difference for a previously frustrated client.
Recommended by Good Housekeeping Institute Readers, the Evening Primrose Revitalising Day and Night Creams are, in my opinion, the perfect choice for more mature skin. The day cream has reports of 73% efficacy for skin appearing visibly more firm and 77% more even from surveys after 4 weeks of using the cream and has been awarded a “Janey Loves Platinum Award”.
As mentioned before, the Evening Primrose Age Revitalising Concentrate was “just the thing” for a client of mine who had previously struggled to find a facial skincare approach that works for her. With the support of GLA rich Evening Primrose oil, moisturising and cooling Aloe Vera and invigorating Centella asiatica extract, the concentrate helps increase skin’s elasticity, lines appear reduced and skin more firm. It is suitable for vegans.
Stop Press: Winner of the Beauty Shortlist 2017 Best Skincare Product (age 60+)
The Evening Primrose Age Revitalising Eye & Lip Cream gently moisturises the delicate area around the eye, helping to reduce puffiness and bags. It has been clinically tested for efficacy and gentleness (even with contact lenses) and the results were 83% of testers found that the eye area appeared more smooth after 4 weeks of using the cream. The organic Evening Primrose oil is blended with Inca nut oil and extract of Centella asiatica to help boost collagen and cell growth. It is fragrance free (save for the natural fragrance of the ingredients) and has a Good Housekeeping Intsitute Reader’s Recommend Award.
If you would like to try the Evening Primrose facial range, please either book a one-to-one skincare consultation with me, or order online and take advantage of the Mix and Match Skincare Offer and choose any 3 facial skincare products and save 15% (or take advantage of March 2017 offers listed towards the end of this article). Contact me to place an order for you if you would like to try under the 30 day money back guarantee.
BODY CARE RANGE
Jardin de Vie Onagre £19.95
“A subtly nuanced fragrance, interpreting the floral-fresh scent of blooming evening primrose flowers. At the heart of the fragrance, green-floral, exotic-sensual nuances of magnolia set powerful accents, while cardamom confers freshness to the top note. Soft, balsamic-woody notes of precious sandalwood give the composition depth and leave the skin with a mysterious, powdery soft scent. Let your unique radiance shine.”
I’m no professional fragrance reviewer, it always comes across a tad like wine-tasting (and much as I love a glass of wine, I don’t think I particularly have the talent for the description of the high, middle and low notes, although I understand the concept), BUT, I really like Jardin de Vie Onagre. In my day-to-day life I tend to use the Wild Rose facial range (with the Almond Soothing Facial Oil and, occasionally the Pomegranate Night Cream), but when it comes to the Jardin de Vie fragrances, to my surprise it is Onagre (and sometimes Grenade) that really appeals to me (my teenage daughter prefers the lighter Rose – although admittedly I occasionally have a spray!)
Whilst writing this article I’ve had various Evening Primrose products out so the experience of using them is really fresh and I love the warm, floral spiciness of Onagre (I keep having a quick sniff whilst I type).
I really recommend that, if you can, you take the opportunity to contact your local Wellbeing Advisor and sample the Jardin de Vie range to find what works for you – it’s really fantastic to have a range of natural fragrances available and I hope you find them as wonderful as I do.
Suitable for vegans.
The rich lotion is blended from organic evening primrose oil and shea butter and the luxurious oil (I’m a big fan of Weleda body oils – a little goes a long way) is a blend of organic evening primrose oil, jojoba and wheat-germ oil – all super skin-nourishing oils, perfect for helping support the firmness and elasticity of your skin. As I have mentioned before, the natural fragrance combines cardamom, magnolia and sandalwood and is initially subtley floral, becoming, in my opinion more spicy and deep after application.
Both are gluten-free and suitable for vegans.
I love the Weleda body washes, there’s a good choice through the range and I find them creamy and my skin always feels fabulous afterwards (even before applying a lotion or oil). The Evening Primrose Revitalising Body Wash is SLS and SLES free and contains sesame (that oil beloved of Ayurveda) and macadamia oil. It has been awarded a “Best Buy” by Ethical Consumer.
The Evening Primrose Age Revitalising Hand Cream contains shea butter and organic evening primrose oil. It’s easily absorbed and a popular choice for mature, dry hands.
Both are suitable for vegans.
March 2017 Offers
Alongside the Mix and Match Skincare Offer where you can choose any 3 facial skincare products and save 15% , March 2017 has the following offers:
Do contact me if you would like to book a 1-1 Skin Care Consultation or Wellbeing Event. I have some limited availability through March 2017.
Please bear in mind that there have been some price changes at the end of January 2017.
- Fashionably Balanced reviews the Evening Primrose Age Revitalising Concentrate
- Andrea’s Make-Up Artistry reviews Skin Food and Evening Primrose Revitalising Concentrate
- This West Coast Mommy reviews the range
- Cats Holiday reviews the Evening Primrose Body Lotion
- Mommy Greenest reviews the Evening Primrose Facial Range
- Veggies, Yarns and Tails reviews various Evening Primrose products
LINKS & References
- Jachens, Lueder, “Healing The Skin: Holistic Approaches to Treating Skin Conditions”
- University of Maryland Medical Centre: Gamma Linolinolenic Acid
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Evening Primrose
- The Beauty Shortlist
All images are courtesy of Weleda, unless otherwise stated.
Disclaimer: Information is correct to the best of my knowledge, but I cannot take any responsibility for any accidental error – I’m human! If you find an error, please do contact me and I’ll do my best to rectify it. If you are vegan, or have any particular allergy, please take care to always double check ingredients. Prices correct at time of original publication.