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Immortelle – “Helichrysum italicum“- The golden power of nature for the beauty of your skin

Lucija Kračun, MD
Specialist of family practise
AAAMED diploma for aesthetic medicine

Everlasting – “Helichrysum italicum loves the sun.

It is native to dry, rocky parts of the Mediterranean (Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, France, Spain…). It is a low, partially woody shrub plant from the Asteraceae family with characteristic tiny golden- yellow flowers.

It is said to store the sun within itself, as the name helichrysum comes from the Greek words helios, meaning sun, and chrysos, meaning gold.

The smell of immortelle is very sophisticated, rich, somewhat reminiscent of honey, caramel, tobacco, fresh hay, so the lake is appreciated in perfumery.

Other names for Immortelle are: dried flower, Immortelle, Everlasting. Immortelle because of the eternal beauty of flowers which never wither.

Historic use 

The ancient Greeks and Romans used immortelle essential oil in traditional medicine, most often against skin inflammation, for faster wound healing,  for healing sunburns and burns, as an antimicrobial agent, as well as internally against sore throats, asthma and bile problems. (1).

Essential oil and immortelle hydrolate

Immortelle essential oil is extremely valuable. It is one of the most prestigious essential oils. One ton of plants is needed for 1 kg of  Helichrysum italicum  essential oil

• Steam distillation of fresh immortelle flowers, leaves and stems produces essential oil as the main product and hydrolate  as a by – product. The essential oil contains highly concentrated oil – soluble components, while the hydrolate contains water – soluble components from the plant, which are significantly more diluted than the components in the essential oil.

• The main ingredients of Helichrysum italicum are: neryl acetate, geranyl acetate, α-pinene, curcumen, italidione, limonene, 1,8 – cineole, linalool, nerol, geraniol… (1,3,4,6)

• The amount of essential oil and its qualitative and quantitative composition differ according to the immortelle habitat: geographical location, soil characteristics and climate.

• Essential oil is used in the cosmetics industry, perfumery, aromatherapy.

Immortelle essential oil is one of the most important ingredients in our immortelle timeless cream and precious facial oil serum. Due to everlasting the cream and serum have superb clinically proven anti – ageing effect.

Scientific studies supporting the action of immortelle on the skin (1,2,3,4,5)

• Latest studies confirm the positive effects of immortelle in many areas. Its active ingredients have proven antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral effects; anti – inflammatory, antioxidant and anti – allergic effects have also been proven.

• In recent years, the role of immortelle essential oil for skin health has been highly emphasized. Due to its anti – inflammatory and regenerative abilities, it is used against skin aging, to relieve inflammation from sunburn or insect bites, to reduce scars, to accelerate wound healing and soothe the skin, to reduce ruptured capillaries and skin bruises.

The main beneficial effects of Helichrysum italicum

1. prevents skin aging 

2. acts as a powerful antioxidant

3. reduces inflammatory processes

4. reduces skin hyperpigmentation

5. restores and regenerates damaged skin

6. works against microorganisms

7. accelerates wound healing

Defence  against skin ageing

• Due to the harmful effects of the environment, especially the action of UV rays, our skin is exposed to a large amount of free radicals on a daily basis. These are highly reactive and unstable oxygen molecules that damage our cells and its components and thus cause oxidative stress.

• The components of immortelle essential oil have proven antioxidant properties and thus help our skin fight the harmful effects of the environment (2):

  • Free radicals cause damage to two proteins most important for skin’s elasticity and firmness:  collagen and elastin. Collagenase and elastase are enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, which in turn leads to skin aging (reduced skin elasticity and formation of skin wrinkles). The activity of these two enzymes naturally increases over the years, but the harmful effects of the environment greatly accelerate their action and cause premature skin aging. The ingredients in immortelle essential oil α-pinene and limonene have been shown to act against enzymes that break down collagen and elastane (6).
  • Free radicals formed as a result of the action of harmful UV rays also cause excessive and uneven skin pigmentation and the appearance of pigment spots.
  • Phenolic compounds in immortelle essential oil are powerful antioxidants that help our skin fight free radicals.

Literature:

  1. Antunes Viegas D, Palmeira-de-Oliveira A, Salgueiro L, Martinez-de-Oliveira J, Palmiera-de-Oliveira R: Helichrysum italicum: from traditional use to scientific data. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014; 151(1): 54-56.
  1. Sala A, Recio MC, Giner RM, Manez S,Tournier H, Schinella G, Rios JL: Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Helichrysum italicum, J.Pharm Pharmacol. 2002 Mar; 54(3): 365-71.
  1. Kladar NV, Anačkov GT, Rat MM, Srđenović BU, Gruljić NN, Šefer EI, Božin BN: Biochemical characterization of Helichrysum italicum (Roth) G.Don subsp italicum (Asteraceae) from Montenegro: phytochemical screening, chemotaxonomy and antioxidant properties. Chem Biodivers. 2015 Mar; 12 (3): 419-31.
  1. Han X, Beaumont C, Stevens N: Chemical composition analysis and in vitro biological activities of ten essential oils in human skin cells. Biochim Open, 2017 Apr 26; 5: 1-7.
  1. Bouzid D, Nouioua W, Soltani E, De Haro JP, Angeles EM, Zerroug MM: Chemical constituents of Helichrysum italicum (Roth)G.Don essential oil and their antimicrobical activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, filamentous fungi and Candida albicans. Saudi Pharm J, 2017 Jul; 25 (5): 780-787.
  1. Fraternale D, Flamini G, Ascrizzi R.: In vitro anticollagenase and antielastase activities of Essential oil of Helichrysum italicum subsp italicum (Roth) G.Don., J Med Food 2019 Oct 22(10): 1041-1046.
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