Nope, this has nothing to do with marshmallows, sadly. The purple mallow flower, known scientifically as the malva sylvestris, is a flowering herb that grows abundantly around the world, including in North America, Africa, and Europe, although it's native to Europe and North Africa. Its edible blossoms and leaves have made their way into dishes in the Middle East and China, and mallow extract, which comes from the flowers, leaves, or seeds of the plant, has long been used for its medicinal properties, such as treating inflammation and respiratory and digestive problems. Its superpower, however, is its ability to soothe and heal skin.
Why Is Mallow Flower Extract Good For Skin?
Mallow secretes a large amount of mucilage, which is kind of a gross-sounding term for something really great; this gel-like substance has a fantastically soothing effect on skin, and creates a barrier that can help skin hold onto moisture, as well as prevent elasticity loss—which makes it an ideal ingredient for anti-aging effects.
Because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, mallow flower extract is especially helpful for treating acne and skin irritation. Research has shown that it can even help with eczema flare ups, psoriasis, and wound healing. Mallow extract also contains high doses of flavonoids, as well as vitamins C and E. These powerful antioxidants are known to prevent cell damage from environmental factors, like pollution and UV rays, which make it ideal for city dwellers or those who get a little too much sun-worshipping in.
How To Get The Most Benefits From Mallow Flower Extract
Since it’s a moisturizing and skin healing ingredient, mallow extract is often found in a lotion or cream formulation, though it’s also made its way into hair treatments and soaps. Because of its proven ability to help skin hold on to elasticity, mallow flower extract is a great addition to an anti-aging face and eye regimen—and is ideal in an eye concentrate.