This Low-Key Ingredient Might Be Better Than Vitamin C—Here’s What Derms Say


Although I love the classic everyday skincare staples like retinol and vitamin C, I’m always interested in learning more about underdog ingredients that I might be sleeping on. Sure, the above are well-researched and tend to get most of the praise and attention from experts across the board, but once in a while, there are a few lesser-known ingredients that are worth looking into and adding to your routine. 

One such ingredient that’s been getting some buzz lately is edelweiss extract. Edelweiss is a potent antioxidant that some are saying can rival the skincare benefits offered by vitamin C. I didn’t know much about this powerhouse ingredient, so I decided to ask a dermatologist to weigh in on this debate. For all his insight on edelweiss extract, and if it can *truly* compete with vitamin C, keep on reading.

Honestly, I’d heard of edelweiss extract before, but I didn’t know much about what kind of benefits it can offer your skin. To get a bit more insight, I turned to board-certified dermatologist Brendan Camp, MD, FAAD. He shared a few more details on this somewhat under-the-radar ingredient. 

“Extracts of the Leontopodium alpinum (edelweiss) flower are trending in skincare because of their anti-aging benefits,” said Camp. “As an antioxidant, edelweiss helps neutralize free oxygen radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that can damage cellular structures and contribute to premature aging. Edelweiss is also thought to have calming properties that soothe and promote healing in irritated skin.” 

In addition to this, a study on edelweiss extract even showed promise in the barrier repair and inflammation-healing departments.

But now for the million-dollar question: Is this potent antioxidant better than vitamin C? I asked Camp to weigh in. “Like edelweiss, vitamin C also has antioxidant properties,” he said. “Vitamin C, however, is also known for its ability to brighten skin. Vitamin C can help address sun spots, hyperpigmentation from acne, and uneven skin tone.” 

So while both antioxidants offer similar benefits, it depends on what your skincare goals are and your skin type. Vitamin C might be better for those struggling with acne and hyperpigmentation, but edelweiss can offer some serious benefits in the anti-aging department. It’s also suitable for sensitive skin that doesn’t tolerate vitamin C. “Edelweiss is generally well-tolerated and can likely be used by those with sensitive skin,” Camp explained. “However, whenever [you] use a new skincare product, it is a good idea to do a test spot, especially if you have a history of sensitive or eczema-prone skin.”

For a few edelweiss-packed skincare products, take a peek below.

This highly concentrated serum from The Body Shop has a double-shot concentration of edelweiss. It also contains peptides to help the skin maintain its natural moisture barrier.

Packed with edelweiss and mandelic acid, this serum gently exfoliates the skin, improving hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and the appearance of pores. Other soothing ingredients like Centella asiatica and squalane help plump the skin and calm redness.

Although Augustinus Bader’s legendary serum is eye-wateringly expensive, it has a few key ingredients that make it worth the price. Bader’s patented TFC8, or trigger factor complex, accelerates skin healing and renewal while edelweiss extract and pomegranate seed concentrate provide superior antioxidant protection.

For smoother, firmer, plumper skin, try True Botanicals’ nightly renewal treatment. It floods the skin with peptides, ceramides, and potent antioxidants like edelweiss extract to promote more youthful-looking skin.

This moisturizer contains an array of protective antioxidants that help prevent skin damage and repair an impaired moisture barrier.

I love all Luzern products, but this firming facial mist is definitely in my top five. It hydrates your skin so well and boosts radiance with hyaluronic acid, Swiss alpine organics, and potent extracts like edelweiss.

This edelweiss stem cell serum helps to reduce breakouts and balances oil production for oily and combination skin types. It also calms redness and inflammation in the skin.

Containing five ceramides, tetrapeptides, and edelweiss extract, this youth-enhancing cream from Elizabeth Arden hydrates and tightens the skin like no other.

Yes, even your eye cream should have a bit of this powerhouse antioxidant. It blends CoQ10, peptides, and carnosine with edelweiss to calm, hydrate, and improve elasticity around the eye area.

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