Scottish Speedwell, a new botanical for anti-aging

by Monica Wilde
1 December 2014

Here's an exciting new discovery; organically grown Scottish Speedwell extract, a tiny, little herb with a powerful action. In fact, a David of skincare plants amongst Goliaths! New research has discovered some impressive, previously unknown cosmetic uses. We have harnessed the powerful anti-wrinkle properties of pretty Veronica officinalis in a special new anti-aging skin care range, with this natural ingredient, unique to Napiers.

The last three years has seen an exciting research collaboration between Napiers the Herbalists, the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and our lovely natural ingredients manufacturer. We have investigated, grown and tested many of our heritage Scottish plants looking for special and unique properties as skincare ingredients. These have been nurtured on Monica's organic herb farm in central Scotland. We are thrilled to launch the very first of these new discoveries – an extract made from the tiny pretty Scottish Speedwell Veronica officinalis

Great anti-aging results

In analytical tests we found that Scottish Speedwell has excellent antioxidant properties. This means that it contains natural phytochemicals that help to slow down or prevent cell damage caused by oxidation - the exposure of cells to oxygen.

Oxidation can break the bonds that atoms have with each other creating free radicals, which makes cells unstable and more likely to damage and irregularities So using plants that have high antioxidant action really helps us in the fight against our skin aging.

Speedwell also has very strong anti-inflammatory properties. This means that if the skin is irritated or inflamed, that Speedwell soothes the area and calms down the inflammation. This is good news for anybody with a sensitive skin who finds that many cosmetics actual make them feel itchy and inflamed. It's important to us here at Napiers as many of our customers come to us because they suffer from eczema, dermatitis and other itchy skin conditions. In fact, one of the ancient uses of Speedwell was as a skin-detox tea taken internally.

As the old proverb goes, all good things come in threes! Saving the best until last... we discovered that this tiny, sweet little flower also has an amazingly powerful action in reducing wrinkles! It does this by stimulating collagen (an important connective tissue protein) synthesis with the skin's stem cells (fibroblasts) which gently plumps up the skin smoothing out the wrinkles. Collagen keeps the skin supported and prevents it from sagging which commonly happens as we age. We also found that Speedwell not only shortens the length of wrinkles but it also smooths the whole skin area. 

In fact, in a clinic test of 21 women, Scottish Speedwell dramatically reduced the appearance of their wrinkles in just 28 days.

 Formulating with seaweed for beautiful skin care

We have combined our anti-aging, anti-wrinkle Speedwell with a Scottish seaweed that also has valuable cosmeceutical properties. This is Knotted Wrack (Ascophyllum nodosum) grown in the clear, conservation waters off the Outer Hebridean islands, sustainably harvested and dried at low temperatures to preserve its incredible vitamin, mineral and nutrient profile and certified organic by the Demeter Association. Seaweed is an amazing group of plants. They are exposed on a daily basis to extremes of weather. When the tide is in they are bathed in a nutrient-rich, saline water but twice a day when the tide goes out they are dried out, covered in salt, in the sun and the wind. Harnessing their properties to protect our own skins is a no-brainer!

We have launched four essential, gorgeous products formulated with organically grown Scottish Speedwell, Hebridean seaweed and a host of other plant and herb extracts. They do not contain artificial colouring or synthetic fragrance and have been formulated with people with sensitive skin in mind. Click on each one to find out more about it's amazing properties.