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Ingredient Breakdown: Poppy

Welcome to part Four of our ingredient breakdown series! This is a small collection of posts that will dive a bit deeper into specific ingredients that we use here at Adonis Arcana. This will appeal to those of you that are curious to take a more in depth look at both the story behind our ingredient choices and the ways in which these ingredients are used from a skincare perspective. Now it is time to look at the third ingredient: Poppy, The Flower of Forgetfulness.

In Myth, the Poppy flower can be symbolic for both Aphrodite And Persephone – both of whom feature as Adonis’ main relationships. Representative of both the light and the dark.

The image of a Field of Poppies is common, mainly because of how quick the flower spreads and grows. This is the fertility that associates the Poppy to Aphrodite: women would eat poppy seeds to encourage pregnancy or bake them into foods to induce love.

Alternatively, the sleep-inducing effects of the plant were well known, even to this day. The earliest memory of this I have is that of Dorothy, Toto and the Cowardly Lion falling asleep in the field of Poppies. It was not long before people realized that too much could land you in the Underworld. Hence why they became associated with Persephone as well. Making it a flower that both goddesses could relate to.

As far as the skin care benefits go, the Poppy has photoprotective, astringent and soothing properties. This means that it balances excess oil on the skin surface while calming down redness and irritation.

The poppy seed also ranks high Linoleic acid content. A 1998 study by the Department of Dermatology, Kobe University School of Medicine (1) showed Linoleic acid to be efficient in lightening effects of UV induced hyperpigmentation on skin – Better even than the more commonly found Oleic Acid, without causing damage to Melanocytes (the cells responsible for the base pigmentation of skin) What this means, is that it will do a fantastic job at evening out the tone of skin (dark spots and all) without bleaching or changing the base color.

The Essence of Adonis uses Poppy for this photoprotective and tone correcting element. One of the key indicators of great skin is in fact the smoothness not just in the texture but also in the tones that we see. After all, that’s the whole reason for concealers and foundations, right?

I hope you have enjoyed this look behind the curtain for another piece of what makes our ingredients so interesting. In part Four we will explore another piece of our unique mix: Strawberry.


(1) Ando, H., Ryu, A., Hashimoto, A. et al. Linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid lightens ultraviolet-induced hyperpigmentation of the skin. Arch Dermatol Res 290, 375–381 (1998).

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