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Culture Insider: Skincare in ancient China | Updated: 2016-07-26 13:41

3. Floral products

Culture Insider: Skincare in ancient China

A peach flower is pictured in this photograph taken on April 11 in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

A theory in ancient Chinese medicine calls for "replenishing color with color", hence the use of flowers in many beauty products for that healthy glow.

Compendium of Materia Medica, the bible of Traditional Chinese Medicine, records a large volume of pharmaceutical formulas with floral ingredients. For instance, to brighten the skin, a mixture of plum, pear, cherry, candytuft, white lotus, red lotus, inula flowers and pepper (300g), peach and papaya flowers and aloes, clove and radsz(150g), 100g of pearl and jade crumbs, 50g of Sichuan spray flowers, and 700g of ground soybean powder were often prescribed. Whether the formula worked or not remains a question and recreation is not recommended.

Another use of flowers is in the production of floral hydrosol, in which essential oils and ingredients from flowers are extracted using refinement technology. The condensation added to the scent of the hydrosol, and many applied it not just as a skincare product but also as a perfume.

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