Hibiscus' Anti-Aging and Skin-Firming Benefits Have Earned It the Nickname "Nature's Botox"

A dermatologist and celebrity aesthetician explain why.

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Hibiscus is Nature's Botox
Photo: Getty Images, Courtesy/InStyle

It is easy to get swept up looking for the latest and greatest skincare ingredients. While knowledge is power and knowing what polyglutamic acid is can only be a good thing, some of the most effective and praised ingredients have been right under your nose for years. Such is the case with hibiscus which Cynthia Franco, celebrity aesthetician, recently described to me as "nature's botox."

My conscious interaction with hibiscus has been pretty limited — sometimes my grandma will make me a cup of inflammation-battling hibiscus tea or I will come across the flower during a walk in a garden. But once Franco, whose clients include Salma Hayek, Lucy Boynton, Zoey Dutch, and more pointed it out to me, I started to see it in so many skincare products. She isn't the only person to give the flower this miraculous accolade, there's a colloquial expression used to describe it in the skincare world.

According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marina Peredo, MD, FAAD one of its most botox-like benefits is being a superb skin-firming ingredient. To break it down in a digestible way, understand that hibiscus is a vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and antioxidant-packed ingredient according to Dr. Peredo.

Vitamin C, for its part, is a known complexion booster with collagen-boosting properties — but that is just the tip of the iceberg. The antioxidants anthocyanin, myricetin, and beta-carotene that are also found in hibiscus are an important part of the reason it has been dubbed "nature's botox," according to both Franco and Dr. Peredo. "Anthocyanins visibly boost elastin production and cell turnover," Franco tells InStyle explaining, "elastin is what gives the skin a supple, youthful appearance — it firms and blurs wrinkles." Myricetin and beta-carotene, on the other hand, "slow down the degradation of collagen," and reduce inflammation according to Dr. Peredo. The end result is bright, youthful, and firm skin. Incorporate "nature's botox" into your skincare regimen with the eight products below.

Saint Jane Hydrating Petal Cream

face cream

Shop now: $68; credobeauty.com

Saint Jane's Petal Cream was actually the product that introduced me to the ageless world of hibiscus beauty products. This moisturizer is great for using in between skincare treatments because it blocks free radicals while also keeping your complexion even and firm, which ultimately prolongs benefits. The formula is clean, light, and incredibly gentle which makes it suitable for even the most sensitive skin types.

Obagi Hydro-Drops

face serum

Shop now: $74 (Originally $98); amazon.com

For dry skin, consider the Obagi Hydro Drops which not only hydrate and nourish the skin, but also prevents moisture loss. Your skin will look instantly plump and glowy while hibiscus works its long-term magic. Make sure to use this as a booster to your moisturizer, not a replacement.

Irene Forte Hibiscus Serum

face serum

Shop now: $101–$168; nordstrom.com

This serum is an indulgent moment in your skincare ritual. Dispense the product into your hands while massaging it into your skin from the chest upwards in circular motions. The hibiscus-derived antioxidants give the skin a lifted effect while filling in lines and wrinkles

Pholk Beauty Hibiscus Night Oil

face serumn

Shop now: $27; credobeauty.com

If hyperpigmentation is one of your main concerns, Pholk's Beauty Hibiscus Oil works its magic while you sleep. The namesake hibiscus is combined with other essential oils to gently exfoliate skin, shedding dark spots to reveal an even complexion.

African Botanics Marula Resurrection Eye Cream

eye cream

Shop now: $180; credobeauty.com

Hibiscus is just one of the heavy-hitting ingredients in African Botanics' eye cream alongside arnic, caffeine, vitamin C, and more. This is a deeply penetrating and hydrating treatment that does multiple things at once — it reduces eye puffiness and breaks up dark circles while tightening skin and minimizing signs of aging.

Graydon Fullmoon Serum

skin serum

Shop now: $87; credobeauty.com

This serum has it all — hibiscus, hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamin C, and more. Depending on the specific moisture level of your skin, this can function as both a serum and moisturizer, or simply as a pre-moisturizer treatment.

Codex Beauty Antü Brightening Serum

face cream

Shop now: $75; amazon.com

Inflammaging is a scientific way of saying that aging your skin can occur through stress. Codex's hibiscus-infused brightening serum works to counteract the negative effects of several different signs of aging while also soothing and reviving skin to reveal a brighter complexion.

Chantecaille Hibiscus Smoothing Mask

skin cream

Shop now: $90; nordstrom.com

Chantecaille's Hibiscus Smoothing Mask is a quick treatment for when your skin feels lackluster, dull, or congested. A combination of fruit and floral extracts exfoliate skin and brighten the complexion, while moisturizing and softening the skin to the touch.

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