By Andrea Zahnd
Frankincense has a long history as a product of great value. It is mentioned in the Bible as being one of the gifts of the Magi to baby Jesus, but even before that, it was revered by the ancient Chinese, Egyptians and Arabs for its heavenly aroma and miraculous health properties.
In fact, Arabs have always valued it for its restorative qualities, and almost anywhere you go in the Middle East, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the heavenly scent of Frankincense and its cousin, myrrh, burning in braziers–the smoke is said to have qualities that restore poor health, and the oil of this resin contains elements that can undo cellular damage. Now, scientists even postulate that the power of Frankincense to send reparative messages to damaged cells could even be used to help cure cancer.
Frankincense oil is extracted from the resin of the Boswellia genus of trees that grow in China, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. Its aroma is woody, sweet and spicy, with a slightly citrusy top note. Having both soothing and uplifting properties, the scent is said to lower anxiety and stress, while promoting relaxation.
But the scent is not the only thing that is amazing about this oil. It also has potent anti-aging and skin healing properties, so plenty of organic brands use it in their products, for its ability to promote cell regeneration while also keeping existing cells healthy. It can even help fade scars, heal wounds, and tighten and tone your skin.
The health and beauty qualities of Frankincense are enormous, and by now there’s no doubt that you should have at least some beauty products in your cabinet that contain this miraculous ingredient. Here’s our list of the best organic Frankincense based beauty products.
Perfect for all skin types, this purely all-natural, super-rich cream is the perfect product to slather on to protect your skin from the signs of ageing. It boosts elasticity, has collagen-stimulating properties, and absorbs thoroughly and easily. Neals Yard has a whole collection of Frankincense products that are totally worth checking out, especially since your purchase helps support the livelihoods of women in Kenya who harvest the Frankincense.
Finely ground nut shells exfoliate while Frankincense purifies and gives a pleasant aroma. This is a weekly scrub formulated to lift away dead skin cells without damaging your skin’s protective mantle. Suitable for all skin types, this is just one of many products Subtle Energies makes that incorporates this precious oil.
While most perfumes contain dozens of harmful ingredients, this Indigo Wild Frankincense and myrrh roll-on perfume uses ingredients that are 100% pure. Containing no alcohol or carcinogenic phthalates, this roll-on uses the age-old scent of Frankincense and myrrh to create a sweet, deep, powdery and woodsy perfume to drive away the winter blahs. Also comes in a spray form, if you prefer that.
The goodness of another plant-based oil–in this case, Watermelon seed oil–smoothes the skin and dissolves the build-up of impurities and dead skin. Bulgarian Rose oil tones and moisturises. Neroli and Frankincense give a heavenly scent, and of course, bring all the protective qualities to the skin that you’d expect.
The magical qualities of Frankincense work not only in creams, but body cleansing formulas too! This one is suitable for all skin types and is made from pure, non-photosensitising, certified-organic ingredients. Their Frankincense is the best on the market: hydro-distilled and all the way from Oman.
We love how these tiny bottles remind us of the bird in the name of this brand: the sparrow! Carrot and Rosehip seed oil are added to Frankincense oil to give this serum strong regenerative and anti-aging properties. The serum’s many antioxidant properties rejuvenate the skin, making it smoother and younger looking.
This silky rich product is a cult favourite, especially with beauty bloggers! It could be because it serves a dual function, doubling as a mask and a cleanser. In addition to Frankincense oil, raw honey, while halloysite clay and aromatic plant oils create a daily ritual that is utterly divine. This cleansing silk rids your skin of the day’s pollutants and infuses your skin with nourishing enzymes, too.
A purely natural aromatherapy treatment, this relaxing and uplifting blend helps banish anxiety and stress. Linden Blossom calms, Rose Otto lifts the spirit, Neroli soothes the nerves, Frankincense deepens breathing, quiets the mind and calms the body.
A natural Vitamin A treatment, this dense serum boasts some potent anti-aging ingredients. Fig, broccoli (yes, broccoli!), guava, and milk thistle seed oils sound good enough to eat, and rejuvenate and brighten the skin, just as the foods do, too! Frankincense, magnolia, and melissa are all added for their restorative qualities, and of course, to give a lovely scent.
Just what mama needs–a long, hot half hour in the bath with this Magnesium Sulfate bath soak. Geranium, lavender, eucalyptus, bergamot, grapefruit, Ylang-Ylang and of course, Frankincense all blend together to create a heavenly scent that relieves stress and anxiety, thus elevating your mood.
This multi-purpose balm should be a staple in all bathroom cabinets. Harnessing the power of Eucalyptus, Lavender and Frankincense oils, it is perfect for decongesting the nose and lungs, healing bruised and tired muscles, and soothing irritated and dry skin. With a texture like Vaseline (without all the nasty petrochemicals, though!) this goes on smoothly and carries a refreshing scent.
What a joy this moisturising hand and body wash is! Perfect for the shower or beside the sink, it’s a mild and sulfate-free cleanser made with plant waters, oils, extracts, and essences, all derived from organic farming. As it’s so gentle, it works for any skin type, but the best part is the rich, heady scent of Frankincense; about as far from ‘cheap, over-scented soap’ as you can get.