Moisture for Days: Desert Succulents

Here’s how to unlock the complexion benefits of these potent botanicals…

This post comes to you from beauty contributor, Kari Molvar.

If a plant can survive in the desert, you know it has some amazing self-preservation qualities. Take succulents, for example: many can go for extended periods without a drop of water and still remain healthy and thriving. That explains why these powerful botanicals have become a go-to ingredient for keeping your skin hydrated and dewy in intense conditions (think super hot, dry or cold weather). And lately, they’ve been appearing in a variety of complexion essentials from sheet masks to serums. To soak up the benefits, here are the best succulent-rich beauty products to reach for right now:


A hardy plant in the cactus family that produces an edible fruit packed with nutrients.

Find it in:

Root Science Youth Facial Serum: This facial serum-and-moisturizer-in-one protects your skin from environmental aggressors (sun, wind, pollution) so it stays smooth and radiant. $120

Living Libations Goodnight Oil: Remove makeup and seal in moisture with this oil-infused blend that helps condition your lashes, lids and even brows. $30


Known for its large, thick, fleshy leaves that are filled with a gel-like salve, aloe has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes.

Find it in:

Leaders Renewal Mask: Ideal for sensitive skin, this sheet mask calms inflammation and brings down redness (and feels amazing after a day in the sun). $5

Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel: Aloe is the first ingredient listed in this cooling gel that can double as a moisturizer for oily complexions (store it in the fridge for an even more refreshing experience). $65

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Moisturizer: This aloe-spiked sunscreen not only fends off UVA and UVB damage but also soothes your skin while you’re exposed to the elements. $16


This spikey plant is filled with essential nutrients for the skin.

Find it in:

Leaders Daily Wonders Bye Bye to Dry Mask: If you have super dry patches, this cactus-based mask is for you: leave on for 20 minutes so all the goodness can absorb deeply. $5


Technically this is not a succulent but an aromatic shrub that grows in arid conditions and is believed to alleviate everything from headaches to colds.

Find it in:

Trimaran Sacred Smudge Mist: Spritzing this fragrant blend of wild-crafted, healing oils in the air helps ground your body and mind before yoga, meditation or thoughtful prayer. $56


This cactus seed oil is loaded with vitamin E and linoleic acid to ward off free radical damage.

Find it in:

One Love Organics Love Springs Eternal Youth Preservation Serum: Not all oils have to be oily—this one has a light, serum-like texture but is packed with skin-firming botanicals. $75

+What are your thoughts on the benefits of desert succulents? 

Read more from Kari here!!

Photos by Jana Cantua.


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