Plants. They are just so hot right now. Plant-based diets, plant-based packaging, heck – even plant-based clothes. Vegetation is virtually on fire! But one realm that began extolling the virtues of plant-based formulas long before Veganuary became a fixture is that of beauty. In the world of skincare, plants and vegetation are nothing new: their healing, rejuvenating and regenerative properties have been extracted, studied and repurposed by scientists for decades, continually discovering how utterly unparalleled they are for their complexion-saving abilities. Want a more luminous skin tone? Then vitamin C-enriched plant and vegetable extracts such as kale are your friend. In need of nourishing hydration? Olives are rich in skin-quenching squalane. Want a healing, antioxidant hit? Everything from tomatoes and roses, to berries and broccoli, can do the job. Today, the understanding of the capability of botanical ingredients in skincare is clearer than ever. And the proof is in the sales: in the UK, natural-beauty brands (which include organic, vegan and naturally derived) grew by 16 per cent in the 12-month period to the end of January 2018 according to The NPD Group; the overall market growth was just seven per cent by comparison. But how do these botanically charged products actually work?