Saffron may cost the earth but one local brand has made this luxury ingredient more accessible to the market
DO you know that it takes about 150,000 crocus flowers to yield 0.45kg of saffron?
And because the harvesting process requires intensive labour, this is what makes saffron incredibly expensive.
A pound of saffron will cost you thousands of dollars.
With its distinctive aroma and yellow colour, saffron has long been used as a classic ingredient for dishes such as the Spanish paella and Italian risotto.
But since it’s also rich in vitamins and has anti-inflammatory properties, saffron has also been used for beauty and cosmetic purposes.
In ancient times, it was believed that Cleopatra bathed with saffron-infused milk to lighten and smoothen her skin.
In this modern era, high-end brands like Yves Saint Laurent and Sisley have incorporated extracts of this botanical ingredient into their products.
The extract of saffron is the star ingredient for the YSL Or Rouge skincare line. Or Rouge literally translates to red gold in French — Or for gold and Rouge for red — because saffron is perceived to be as precious as gold.
Meanwhile, Sisley used hints of saffron in its Velvet Sleeping Mask and Velvet Nourishing Cream.
Saffron is also the products’ star ingredient as it helps to treat irritated skin and leaves it looking radiant.
While premium brands offer its products with hefty price tags, one local brand, Safi, has made this luxury ingredient accessible.
Safi’s latest product range called Safi Youth Radiance comprises a serum-infused moisturiser and an anti-ageing whitening essence.
The products combine Saffron Gold Technology with beetox (a combination of bee venom extract and nano gold 24k), lipo vitamin C (an anti-oxidant with skin lightening benefits) as well as hyaluronic acid.
All of these ingredients help to restore the skin’s suppleness, softness and hydration.
Safi product manager Kazlina Mohd Kassim says the brand made saffron more affordable by combining it with the benefits of nano gold 24k.
“While still expensive, it was something that could be done,” she said.
“Saffron is really a powerful ingredient as it helps to fight free radicals that make your skin age faster. It has whitening properties as well. Many people don’t realise that as you get older, your skin becomes darker due to fine lines. The concept is akin to balloons. When it’s inflated, the surface appears smooth and bright. When it’s deflated, it appears darker and wrinkly,” she said.
The Safi Youth Radiance Anti-Aging is priced at RM55.90 per 100ml while the Safi Youth Radiant Serum Infused Moisturiser costs RM55.90 per 40g.
The range is available at leading pharmacies nationwide.