Recognized as a tropical flower that often grows in island environments, the precious hibiscus comes in a variety of hues. The more rare yellow hibiscus, or Ma`o-hau-hele, is the state flower of Hawaii and symbolizes femininity, power, respect and beauty. While the hibiscus flower has many uses, one of its more powerful ones is to nourish and smooth the skin. The alpha hydroxy acids in the flower gently exfoliate and even skin tone, minimizing pores and age spots and encouraging cell turnover. This exfoliating factor is complemented by the mucilage content (a substance that helps plants store water) which encourages moisture retention in skin over time, boosting hydration and plumping the skin.
Hibiscus is also a good source of vitamin c which supports collagen production and may even help inhibit collagen and elastin breakdown, resulting in firmer skin. A recipe for a glowing, youthful complexion.
Other traditional uses in Hawaiian culture include:
- Used to make leis. The flowers, once picked will not wilt without water, though they only last for one day;
- Worn behind the ear by Hawaiian women to indicate marriage status/availability. A flower worn on the right ear indicates a woman is single and worn on the left that she is married; and
- Used by many cultures medicinally to soothe the stomach, alleviate cold symptoms and more.