Rhodiola rosea – also known as Golden Root, Arctic Root or Ginseng of the North – is a succulent plant in the crassulaceace family. What makes the arctic root extract so beneficial for skincare?
If you’re familiar with plants (or you have a rock garden) you’ve probably seen succulents before. The word is derived from the Latin term “sucus” which means juice or sap. Succulents have thick leaves, store water or “juice” very efficiently so the plants can survive growing in a dry, stony environment. The “rosea” part of the plant name refers to the rose-like scent of the roots.
The rhodiola plant has yellow or purple blossoms and beautiful bluish-green leaves. It primarily grows at high altitudes, where the climate is cold and the soil is dry and sandy such as in the mountain ranges in central Asia, in the more mountainous parts of northern Europe and, of course, in most of the Arctic region.
The Golden root – not only a traditional healing plant, but also a strong antioxidant
In Scandinavia, the Baltic countries and Russia, Rhodiola rosea is considered a traditional healing plant which is consumed as a tea or an extract. Taken as a supplement rhodiola is said to strengthen the immune system, improving concentration and making the body more stress resistant.
“Gingseng of the North”
However, the topical effects on the skin are equally impressive. In our Arctic Blend we use the root extract of the rhodiola plant. Since the rhodiola is accustomed to surviving in an inhospitable environment – like the Arctic climate with its long, icy cold winters and brief summers – the plant’s bulbous roots store as much nourishment as they can.
As a result, the rhodiola root is very high in antioxidant compounds such as salidroside and other tyrosols, organic acids (like caffeic acid, gallic acid and chlorogenic acid) and flavonoids.
Arctic Root extract prevents pigmentation and is gentle to sensitive skin
Clinical studies have proven the antioxidant effects of rhodiola root extract on human dermal and keratinocyde cells. The extract enhances the natural protective mechanisms of the dermal cells – it strengthens the cell membranes against the damaging effects of UV radiation and inhibits tyrosinase (the enzyme that is responsible for the production of melanin in the skin) which minimizes skin pigmentation.
Translated into skincare benefits, this means that rhodiola root extract, with its high concentration of anti-oxidants, protects the skin against free radicals caused by UV exposure and environmental pollutants. That means it fights back against hyperpigmentation, brightening skin tone and keeping skin smooth and healthy.
Studies have also shown that rhodiola extract decreases transepidermal water loss (which means that moisture stays in the skin for longer), so the extract is beneficial if you have dry or sensitive skin.
And all of that antioxidant and anti-aging goodness is included in our Arctic Blend.