In my constant exploration of the Internet to find new products, ideas and ingredients, I came across something called sedum. Marta touched upon the plant (sedum acre, in particular) in an article detailing her discovery of the ilike Organic Skin Care line, and learned that it contains quercetin, a strong antioxidant comparable to resveratrol.

Sedum is actually the name of a large group of flowering plants. According to one source, sedum acre (also known as the biting stonecrop and, much more interestingly and confusingly, welcome-home-husband-though-never-so-drunk) was used to treat everything and anything: gout, scurvy, hemorrhoids and more. Sounds good, but what does it do when applied to the skin? According to the same source, “it excoriates and ulcerates.” Okay, suddenly it sounds not so good.

According to Webster’s Online Dictionary, sedum acre contains high quantities of piperidine alkaloids, which makes it “somewhat toxic.” However, it seems that it must actually be consumed in certain quantities in order for this toxicity to even be an issue. Another source claims that biting stonecrop irritates skin much the way pepper does. Other than a study that supports Marta’s location of quercetin in sedum acre, I couldn’t find anything that confirms its benefits for skin.

That doesn’t mean you should stay away from sedum, though. The same book that compares sedum acre to pepper also notes that sedum rosea root extract is “used as an antioxidant and astringent in cosmetics.” One study observed that sedum kamtschaticum has been used in Northeast Asia as an anti-inflammatory for some time, and concluded after testing it on mice that it does, indeed, seem to treat inflammation. Yet another study found that sedum album leaves showed a continuous supply of Ascorbic Acid from cells in response to oxidant exposure, and could very well protect against oxidative damage. Finally, sedum telephium has been hailed as an ancient, potent anti-inflammatory that appears to have photoprotective effects against UVB damage.

Despite all the potential benefits of sedum, the cosmetics industry hasn’t quite caught on to using it beauty products.

Ingredients in ilike Stonecop Whipped Moisturizer: Aqua, sempervivum tectorum, achillea milefoium, stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, arachidyl alcohol, behnyl alcohol, arachidyl glucoside, glycerine, sodium cocoyl glutamate, tocpherol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, benzyl alcohol, ascorbyl palmitate, xanthan gum, citric acid, sodium acsorbyl phosphate, chlorophyll.

Ingredients in Ilike Organic Skin Care Wrinkle Eliminator: Aloe Arborescens, Viola Tricolor, Parthenocissus Inserta, Sedum Acre, Portulaca Oleracea, Glycerine, Hypericum Perforatum, Calendula Officinalis, Glycine Soja, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Xanthan Gum, Methylsilanol Mannuronate, Lecithin, Lavandula Angustifolia, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), CI 75810 (Chlorophyll), Linalool, Benyl Salicylate, Eugenol, Amyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol, Alcohol Denat.