My first introduction to the passion flower was through Capri Sun — specifically the mango passion fruit flavor that made a regular appearance in my lunchbox. While I've been off the Capri Sun for decades, I still have an obsession with passion flower's skin benefits that bring glowing, fully hydrated skin into my life. I'm not the only one obsessing: OTC brands are also incorporating passion fruit, passion flower, and oil extracted from the seeds of the plant into their products.
The passion flower plant is actually as well known in medicinal world as it is in the sugary beverages of our youth. One study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information's website states that passion flower has been used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression, apparently due to it's ability to affect the GABA receptors in our brains. Coincidentally, passion flower's anecdotally reported ability to soothe the skin is one of this flower's trade secrets often overlooked by its calming effects on the mind.
Passion flower contains antioxidants that are ideal all skin types. According to sources at Organic Facts, the fruit is known to boost circulation and provide anti-inflammatory properties which act as nourishing treats for aging or acne-prone skin. It's rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids and is able to simultaneously protect the skin from dryness while keeping sebum production under control — both factors that can lead to unsightly breakouts.
You can spend time and money trying the perfect passion flower skin product. But if you're more of a DIY type, you can give my five favorite ways you can use passion flower at home to get all those beneficial beauty benefits a try.
1. Passion Flower Salt Scrub
The simplest way to experience the aroma and pleasure of passion flower is in a scrub. Scrubs are super easy and affordable to make, plus they have a long lengthy shelf life compared to other natural recipes. Personally, I prefer salt over sugar, but you can use the base exfoliant of your skin's desire.
Build your scrub in a glass bowl by adding six ounces of your exfoliate of choice. Add a half tablespoon of dried, organic passion flower and stir in two and a half ounces of your preferred oil. For this circulation boosting scrub, I used calendula oil and a half teaspoon of Indian sandalwood oil. Gently stir everything together, adding a up to a teaspoon of distilled water for consistency, and transfer to a sealable container.
2. Passion Flower Body Wash
You don't need to use a body scrub every day, so you'll need a passionate cleanser for the rest of the week. Fortunately, dried passion flower can make a delicious tea for your taste buds and body.
Start this recipe by bringing two or three cups of water to a boil. Place a tablespoon each of passion flower and organic rose petals or buds in a disposable tea bag and then transfer to a heatproof glass or mug. Once your water has come to a boil, allow it to cool for about four minutes.
Add a heaping tablespoon of raw honey into the cup with tea and pour six ounces of the recently boiled water into the cup. Stir in the honey until it's completely liquefied and let cool. Once the body wash has cooled, transfer to a sealable container, ideally one with a convenient pump top. Add two or three drops of geranium essential oil into the container and seal tightly. In my bathroom, this body wash will last at least seven days, but it keeps for at least two weeks when refrigerated.
3. Passionflower Face Cream
According to sources at Stylecraze, the oil from passion flower is loaded with vitamins A and C which are excellent additions to your daily moisturizer. Combine passion flower oil with your favorite homemade lotion recipe and apply daily on makeup free, clean skin.
4. Passion Flower Face Steam
I have a new resolution to steam my skin weekly, and I couldn't resist adding my new natural friend, passion flower. For this steam, I added equal portions of matcha green tea leaves and dried passion flower leaves to a large bowl. After I poured steaming (not boiling) water in the bowl, I hovered over it with a towel for about 15 minutes before cleansing my face and followed up with my new passion flower face cream. My face felt well hydrated and I definitely felt chill AF after 15 minutes of breathing in these aromas.
5. Passion Flower Hair Serum
Hair serums are great for restoring damaged hair and promoting growth on any problems areas — for me, that usually means my hairline. After all, it's seen its fair share of stresses during detangling and my hat fetish phase. For this serum, I mixed equal parts prickly pear seed oil and passion fruit oil and put in a tinted sealable container. Then, I added a few drops of lavender for scent and calming my scalp. So far, my hair is loving the feel of passion.
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (7)