They’ve survived on the planet for more than 400 million years, establishing themselves well before the dinosaurs, yet they still look so youthful and radiant. Just what is the Fern’s skincare secret?
Dr. Timm Golueke, a 49 year old dermatologist with a remarkably youthful complexion, began to research the potential of fern extracts in skincare after he read about a study from Sloan Kettering, a New York cancer treatment and research institute, which described the apparent ability of fern supplements to protect cell DNA from UV rays. “I thought that was interesting, because UV light is a big issue for ageing. Also, ferns have a lot of other properties: they’re the moisture keeper of the woods. They’re highly anti-oxidative and brightening. They are one of the first plants to have evolved from the ocean to the land, and they’re very resistant to environmental damage.”
Golueke got to work, along with a German biochemist who holds more than 400 patents, on developing a complex that could form the base of a skincare line. “It took us four years,” he says. “As well as Royal Fern (Osmunda Regalis), we used other plant extracts to make our complex even more potent: the seeds of the African Voacanga tree, wild roses for their high percentage of vitamin C and sea buckthorn for its moisture- keeping properties, and we added mineral oxides which reflect UV light.”
From his practice in Munich, Golueke treats patients for normal dermatological problems like acne, mole checks and allergies, but he also sees clients who are concerned about wrinkles. “Your patients ask you every day what skincare they should use — this is the daily business of a dermatologist,” he says. UV damage is still the biggest skincare concern, but Golueke says in big cities, increasingly, pollution and environmental toxins are taking a toll. “If you live in urban surroundings, fine dust from traffic-related emissions get into the pores and causes inflammation, which leads to a decrease of collagen.”
You can see why putting more chemicals on your skin has lost its appeal for many, and in a time when kale and coconut oil are believed to be able to solve just about anything, botanical- based skincare is increasingly popular. But Golueke has a warning for fans of natural products. “You have to keep in mind that you always need science to make sure that the ingredients get to the part of your skin that needs it,” he says. “You can’t just get whatever and put it on your skin and hope the antioxidants will work”. “Also, although a lot of people are scared of non-natural ingredients, it’s not always the case that natural products are less sensitizing than chemical products. You can have an allergic reaction against natural ingredients. People can have hay fever, food allergies, and we see a lot of contact allergies in patients who are sensitive to essential oils. They are sometimes not approved as skincare, just sold in little shops, and people start putting them on pimples or wrinkles. They think it’s only an essential oil, it’s all-natural, but it’s important to know about the source.”
WORLD Beauty is excited to include Royal Fern in its stable of skincare brands. Designer, Benny Castles, says they’re honoured to stock the brand, “It has an incredible point of difference and specificity that is extremely appealing. The concept of combining a unique natural source, otherwise unknown in skincare, with the cutting edge of anti-ageing science has been one that has appealed immediately to customers concerned with sensitive and ageing skin. The aim of Royal Fern is to make your skin healthy and this suits our goals and the mindset of our customers who have taken to the brand with the same passion that saw
Dr. Tim Gouleke spend 4 years in research and development patenting the Royal Fern and creating this intelligently luxurious brand.”
Initially launched in 2015 exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Royal Fern has found a powerful fan in Cassandra Grey, founder of influential beauty blog Violet Grey, who recently said she’s been using Royal Fern’s cleanser, phytoactive serum and rich cream exclusively.
Violet Grey’s testers found the anti-ageing cream useful as a hydrating primer on shoots, a good brightener after two weeks, and responsible for “more evenness in pigmentation” after a month’s use. “Similar results have been seen after a rendezvous with your lover,” one commented.