Question: I have sensitive skin. This holiday, a friend gave me some products with cornflower, saying it was helpful for my skin problems. I am so touched by her gift, but I am frankly scared to try anything new. Should I go ahead and use them?
Answer: While I don’t know which products were in your gift basket, I can tell you there is good science behind cornflower skin care benefits. A common wildflower in Europe, cornflower is known to have strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. These blue beauties are packed with Vitamin C, biotin, folic acid and mineral salts. But wait, there’s more. Cornflowers contain anthrocyanins and flavinoids, two super powerful antioxidants.
Cornflower teas and extracts have been used successfully to care for skin ulcers, nail infections, eczema and dandruff. It is especially gentle around the eyes, easing tired, itchy and puffy eye areas. Klorane makes a popular line of eye makeup remover products which are powered by cornflowers.
However just because a product says it contains cornflowers does not mean its the right product for you. IMO a great way to get the most out of cornflower’s impressive skin care benefits is to make them yourself. This is especially true when you have twitchy, sensitive skin. You can buy four ounces of dried cornflowers from Etsy for less than $10, enough for more than four treatments. Soak them in water for 20 minutes , then strain off solids. You can use this liquid to make the most soothing oatmeal mask in beauty history. The pale blue liquid can also be dabbed directly on the skin to soothe red and irritated skin and its awesome on a sunburn.
Cornflower extract is also available from Formulator Sample Shop, one of my favorite DIY skin care suppliers. This glycerin based liquid can be mixed into your current favorite moisturizer to boost its anti-inflammatory potential. In a small dish, mix one drop of cornflower extract to 10 drops of moisturizer, then apply to face and body. It’s my current favorite way of treating winter dry skin without clogging up my pores.