You’ve most likely heard of Frankincense because it is said to be one of the three gifts presented at the birth of Jesus, but what exactly is Frankincense? A staple in Ayurveda and Ancient Chinese Medicine, Frankincense is an aromatic resin obtained from the trunks of the Boswellia tree. The aromatic sap was traditionally burned as incense and was said to ward off evil spirits and serpents. Native to what is now modern-day Oman, Frankincense became the most lucrative trade in the world until A.D. 400 and made southern Arabia the richest region of the world at the time.
The ancient Egyptians were among the largest consumers of Frankincense, with Queen Hatshepsut organizing the largest trading expedition in the country’s history at the time to open more trade routes and provide better access to the sacred resin. The Egyptians used Frankincense for everything from wound treatments to eyeliner, and unsurprisingly Cleopatra was one of the first to use it as a skin treatment.
The wound healing properties of Frankincense translate well into skincare. It’s a natural astringent that is renowned for its ability to balance both oily and dry skin. Not only does it help fight and prevent breakouts, but its ability also to promote natural cell regeneration enables it to reduce dark spots, scarring, and other forms of hyperpigmentation. By increasing cell turnover, skin’s radiance is also improved due to old cells being gently exfoliated away and newer, healthier cells shining through.
Frankincense is also a powerful skin protectant known to strengthen skin’s natural barrier and provide a tightening effect. This ability to improve skin’s elasticity makes it a coveted ingredient among those looking for natural anti-aging ingredients.
Finally, its potent anti-inflammatory properties make Frankincense a particularly desirable skincare ingredient this time of year when dry, irritated skin is common. Its calming abilities help improve the overall appearance of skin by reducing redness and other visible signs of distress.
It’s no wonder we included Frankincense among the 20+ luxury active florals in our cult-favorite Luxury Beauty Serum.