Touted as a “precious youth elixir” Darphin’s 8-Flower Nectar is a mix of pure essential oils that aim to detoxify the skin, combat wrinkles and generate a glowing complexion. Youth in a bottle essentially!

The Claims

This “precious elixir” claims to “blend rare and radiance-boosting aromatic essences from 8 precious flowers” to deliver a nourishing and wrinkle-busting formula to firm the skin and restore youthful suppleness. But what we want to know is does it really work?

The Science behind the Bottle

This extensive list of essential oils contained within the 8-Flower Nectar include; Immortelle, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Neroli, Rose, Lavender, Jasmine and Iris (that’s eight!). As a bonus it’s also enriched with Vitamins A, C and E and Darphin have added Date extract and ArcticCranberry extract. What more could we want? It is certainly chock full of natural oils, but how do we know which ones are really beneficial and which are just there for show?

Immortelle oil

Well first up is Immortelle oil (aka Helichrysum angustifolium ), an essential oil that lives up to its name. “Immortelle” has photo-protective, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Photoprotection helps prevents photoageing, which is the accelerated ageing of skin caused by the sun.  This helps maintain our youthful complexion, but another major anti-ageing factor is its anti-inflammatory properties.

Now if you didn’t already know, inflammation is a big factor that can accelerate skin ageing. The source of the damage that causes the inflammation process can be many things from UV damage to environmental pollutants. The cells of the immune system that are involved in inflammation not only work positively to clear the source of the inflammation, but also produce high numbers of reactive oxygen species (aka free radicals) that can cause cellular damage. So, it’s kind of a vicious cycle; damage occurs, immune cells migrate to the site, they produce free radicals when attempting to clear the damage, which causes more damage.

To tackle this frustrating cycle, Immortelle oil contains compounds that block the production of the inflammatory mediators in a pathway called the ‘arachidonic acid metabolism pathway’. This pathway promotes inflammation. Put simply, immortelle oil helps block signals that trigger the cycle. Pretty powerful compounds for a flower!

Patchouli and Lavender

Patchouli and Lavender oils are also packed with anti-inflammatory properties. This study shows that topically applied Lavender oil can blocked  immediate allergic reactions in mice and rats by stopping the release of inflammatory molecules by immune cells known as mast cells.

Iris Pallida Root Extract has antimicrobial properties, helping to fight the cause of spots and inflammation. Neroli oil has been show to improve skin elasticity, which is good news for youthful skin! Ylang-Ylang and Jasmine oils have anti-oxidant powers, due to high levels of the chemical benzyl acetate in their composition. What we’d really like to see are studies of these oils, and of Rose, to see their real effects on the appearance of skin in practice!

Jojoba and Avocado Oils

With Jojoba and avocado oils as the main carrier oils, this product looks set to moisturise our skin to perfection as well as actively preventing inflammation thanks to the science behind the flower-power of the oils preset. Darphin also emphasise that the oils are non-comedogenic, which means they shouldn’t clog the pores and create spots!  Don’t be sold too quickly though – there’s no real definition for ‘non-comedogenic’ so labelling with this doesn’t mean an awful lot.

Those Vitamins we mentioned

We wouldn’t want to forget those vitamins we mentioned! Topical vitamins, especially vitamins A and C, are known to improve the appearance of aged skin – there have been a whole bunch of studies and trials looking at them. They’re particularly good at helping with photoageing, the accelerated ageing of the skin by the sun!

The Verdict

The reviews for this product are mixed, with some claiming that with all of the essential oils, it’s more like an aromatherapy than facial skin care product and that similar results could be seen with plain jojoba oil. It’s a hefty price at £96 for 15ml…(gulp!), but we are guessing that a little goes along way. We were impressed with the Immortelle oil for sure, but we’d like to see some more studies on some of the other precious flowers. We didn’t see much evidence of ‘detoxifying’ in this formula, but it’s hydration and protection against photoageing look like they’re backed!

If you have cash to splash in the quest for Immortelle (get it?!) looking skin, then this may be the product for you and you can find it HERE.

Jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil, oleic polyglycerides, avocado oil, apricot kernal oil, macademia ternifolia seed oil, hexyldecanol, avocado unsaponifiables, ylang ylang essential oil, jasmine flower extract, iris pallida root extract, vanilla planifolia fruit extract, date seed extract, cranberry seed oil, orange flower oil, patchouli oil, immortelle oil, lavender oil, beta-carotene, rose oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil, rosewood wood oil, retinyl palmitate, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, tocopherol, benzyl salicylate, limonene, benzyl benzoate, farnesol, linalool, geraniol, citronellol, citral