Allison Taylor and her sisters, the co-founders of beauty brand Le Prunier (known for its plum beauty oil), grew up on their family’s fourth-generation plum farm. It’s the nation’s largest grower and distributor of dried plums, but the three women weren’t super enthused about the idea of carrying on the family business because, well, dried plums — AKA, prunes — don’t exactly have a glamorous reputation. “My sisters and I would go with our Dad on business trips to Asia once in a while, and it was over there that we really realized plum's benefits for skincare," Taylor, who previously worked in Public Relations for Giorgio Armani, tells The Zoe Report. In parts of Asia, plum oil is highly regarded as a skin savior; dried plums actually originated in the continent’s Caucasus region, an area that’s referred to as the “Land of Longevity.” Not only are its inhabitants said to live longer, healthier lives — they look younger, too. As Le Prunier — the new, beauty-focused branch of the family business — puts it, that’s the “power of plum.”
Plum’s skin-saving power isn’t just the stuff of legend, though; it's also confirmed by science. “Plum oil has vitamins A and E and polyphenols, which are rich antioxidants that prevent signs of aging,” Dr. Devika Icecreamwala, a dermatologist with Icecreamwala Dermatology, tells TZR. Think of antioxidants as a sort of SPF… except instead of protecting you from the sun, they protect from environmental pollution and its superficial effects on the skin (fine lines, wrinkles, age spots). "Plums have more antioxidants than kale, blueberries, and spinach,” Taylor notes. Le Prunier’s clinical trials have also shown plum oil to have six times the antioxidant power of marula oil and eight times that of argan oil, according to the co-founder.
“Additionally, plum oil contains Omega fatty acids, which are moisturizing for the skin,” Dr. Icecreamwala says. The skin’s lipid barrier is naturally made up of Omega fatty acids, and plum oil is effortlessly absorbed — in other words, it won’t sit on your skin like an oil slick after application. “It's a pretty dry oil,” Taylor confirms. “Jackie [a Le Prunier co-founder] even puts it in her foundation in the morning.” (After interviewing Taylor, I started doing this, too... and oh, my God, the glowiness.)
“We like to say is that plum oil is very gentle yet powerful — we actually have a really large following in the eczema and rosacea community,” Taylor adds. “It's good for sensitive skin.” That’s partly due to the high vitamin E inside, which is a major moisturizer. Vitamin E is a natural preservative as well, so many plum oils, like Le Prunier’s Beauty Oil or Vitruvi’s Plum Oil, don’t require synthetic additives. “It has a natural shelf life of two years,” Taylor says. And while this isn’t technically a skincare benefit, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that pure plum oil smells incredible — there's a softly sweet, marzipan-ish situation happening.
So, what can you expect from incorporating plum oil into your routine? Healthy, hydrated, baby skin, basically. “Our dad should be the poster child because he has no wrinkles,” Taylor jokes. “His skin is so good now — and he has rosacea, too.” She notes that when she first started using plum oil herself, there wasn’t necessarily a dramatic aha moment. “With consistent use, I just gradually saw my skin started to feel healthier and look better in general,” Taylor says.
A couple disclaimers: First, straight-up plum oil is not the same as kakadu plum skincare. Kakadu, an Australian varietal, has an extremely high vitamin C content, which regular plums don’t — so you’ll reap different rewards from each. Second, as with any ingredient, there’s always a risk of allergic reaction. “I recommend [patch] testing it on the body before use,” Dr. Icecreamwala says.
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Another plus: "The [plum] kernel is completely sustainable,” Taylor says. “Previously, people were actually paying someone to remove it and just disregard it.” Instead of wasting that precious resource, Le Prunier takes the pits and kernels from the plums it produces and turns them into a totally luxe and eco-friendly face oil. (There are 250 kernels in a single bottle of its Beauty Oil.)
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