Purslane (Portuleca Oleracea) is a herb with both medicinal and nutritional value, but is often overlooked as nothing but an annoying garden weed. The plant's vitamin and mineral benefits may be the secret ingredient to perfect skin.
Dr. Barbara Sturm recognised that if this wonder plant was so good for the body, we need it in our skin care, too. So that's exactly what she created. Her skin care line Molecular Cosmetics uses Purslane as one of the main ingredients. "[It] has strong regenerative effects on a cellular level", the key to a great anti-ageing skin care ingredient, Dr. Sturm explains. Purslane contains a "high amount of glutathione, a natural anti-oxidant system, and Omega-3 fatty acids". Purslane "protects the DNA of the cells from age-related dysfunction, thereby maintaining the cells' repair function and strengthening them with the natural antioxidant system contained in these compounds."
Purslane has previously been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for healing snakebites and bee stings as well as sores on broken skin. The antioxidants found in the plant make it great at repairing cellular damage.
Purslane has been nicknamed "the foundation of youth active ingredient" as it promotes the anti-ageing enzyme Telomerase (the object of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine)." Telomerase is a "body own enzyme" and protects the DNA, but as we age the length of these are reduced. Purslane and another herb called Skullcap (used for its anti-inflammatory properties) help to activate this enzyme, thus protecting the cells' DNA.
So what can we expect from a product containing Purslane? It should reduce inflammation in the skin, improve overall circulation, and stimulate cell repair, which decreases appearance of scars and wrinkles. The Molecular Skincare line focuses on "rejuvenation, production of the skins matrix and barrier function, anti-ageing, and cell regeneration." Dr. Sturm advises that it is suitable for every skin type including sensitive and allergy-prone skin.
I was lucky enough to have a personal consultation with Dr. Sturm discussing my skin type, how my skin can be improved, and how the Molecular Cosmetics range can help my skin concerns.
My skin type is dry and sensitive with very occasional spots that are normally under the skin. My skin care aim is to reduce slight pigmentation, increase hydration, and overall glow. Dr. Sturm recommended her darker skin tone products for me, which were created to "reduce hyperpigmentation, inflammation, and even skin tone" whilst continuing to nourish skin. She informed me that this range isn't only for people with colour, as it targets these specific skin concerns.
Having tried some of the Molecular Cosmetics range, I saw the positive effects of Purslane in skin care. After just a week of using the products I saw noticeable hydration, reduced red scar marks on my cheeks, and an overall brighter skin tone. In my opinion, this is a high-end new ingredient and comes at a price, but the research has shown positive benefits in the short month I have been using the products.
As I still have fairly young skin, I perhaps don't see full benefits of high-end products and for me the high-end price tag is tough to justify. Having said that, if you are committed to improving your skin concerns, Dr. Sturm's products are worth the investment.
The Molecular Cosmetics range is now available in the UK from Harrods. My top recommendations are the foam cleanser, darker skin tones face cream, and hyaluronic ampoules. Be sure to keep an eye out for this super anti-ageing ingredient within the skin care world.