I like Stella McCartney. I wear her perfume every day. And let's not forget that she had Heather sussed out from day one. There is a lot to like in Stella McCartney's Care line. Take Five Benefits Moisturizing Cream ($76 for 1.6oz). There are so many really good botanicals that it may well be a candidate for the next Five Best update.
Its base is cornflower water. This plant is rarely used in cosmetics (probably because it has been almost eradicated by pesticides and, therefore, expensive) although it is a known anti-inflammatory and has been used for treating ocular disorders for more than a century.
I won't dwell on obvious ingredients like grapeseed, but highlight some of the more unusual and beneficial botanicals: rosehip, a good source of vitamin C; ylang ylang, a skin and hair strengthener; cymbopogon martini Oil, which is extracted from a kind of grass and is good for counteracting oily skin; clary sage, which may have a mild effect on skin regeneration; linden flowers for anti-inflammation.
One of my favorites is patchouli, the dreaded hippy oil. It turns out that this pungent plant is a heavy duty antioxidant. I found at least one convincing study commending it as such that was published in Oxford Journals. Well, who knew.
Not all plants are benign, as anyone who has tried to make friends with a nettle will know. Five Benefits uses clove oil. This is a natural preservative, but animal studies have shown that it can cause irritation at low doses.
A few quibbles: alcohol (drying), starch and emulsifiers (fillers); hexyl cinnemal, a perfume, is a class B allergan, linalool (in lavender), considered toxic to skin cells according to one study. But on balance, they seem a little churlish.