Plums have earned a reputation as a nutritional star. The fruit is high in vitamins A and C, and dried plums (aka prunes) are rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
What’s not so common knowledge is that plums are becoming a sought-after beauty ingredient, as well. That’s thanks in part to Le Prunier, a brand influenced by the beauty benefits the one little fruit has to offer. Le Prunier was founded by Allison, Jacqueline, and Elaine Taylor, three sisters whose family owns the world’s largest grower and producer of organic prunes, located in Sutter County, California. During business trips, “we realized how highly regarded the plum is as a ‘super fruit,'” says Allison. “It has more antioxidants than kale, blueberries, and spinach. And so it really just kind of prompted us to look at our main commodity and think, okay, how can we innovate but collectively work together doing something that we feel really passionately about, which is clean beauty?” (Related: What’s the Difference Between Clean and Natural Beauty Products?)
They charged forward with two and a half years of testing before introducing Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil (Buy It, $72, leprunier.com) in 2018. Drawing solely on the virtues of plums, Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil is pure organic plum seed oil. The oil’s entire lifecycle happens on the plum farm, from growing and harvesting multiple varietals to cold-pressing the fruits’ pits into the oil. “Previously the pits had been thrown out as a waste product,” says Jacqueline. “And since we know that dry plums have so many beautiful benefits, we thought, well, why wouldn’t the same be true for the byproducts as well?” You can use the oil on your face, squeeze a few drops into body lotion, or use it as a hair oil. (Related: How to Find the Perfect Face Oil for Your Skin)
Among the many oils on beauty shelves, all of which offer some kind of moisturizing benefit, plum seed oil stands out with a few noteworthy characteristics. Thanks to its antioxidant content, plum oil is eight times more powerful than argan oil and six times more powerful than marula oil at protecting skin against free radicals, according to the brand. In general, face oils can be problematic for people with acne-prone skin, since oils can contribute to clogged pores, but plum oil is relatively non-comedogenic (read: less likely to clog pores), says Jacqueline, a distinction that pleased all three Taylor sisters, who’ve experienced hormonal acne. The oil easily sinks into the skin without leaving behind a greasy residue.
Le Prunier’s focus on a clean, single-ingredient product seems to have certainly paid off: A spike in interest last year caused Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil to sell out and build up a 24,000-person waitlist. But while the brand could theoretically just rely on the success of its debut product, it’s adding a new skin-care item to the lineup. Le Prunier Plumscreen, which launches August 1 and is available for preorder, combines the plum oil in Le Prunier’s hero product with sunscreen protection. It offers broad-spectrum SPF 31 protection with the help of mineral UV blocker zinc oxide and filters blue light with zonaria tournefortii extract, an antioxidant-rich ingredient derived from brown seaweed. (Related: The Best Zinc Oxide Sunscreens That Won’t Make You Feel Greasy)
Plums are in season from May through October, so now’s the perfect time to stock up on the antioxidant-rich fruit at your grocery store or farmer’s market. And you can head to Le Prunier’s site if you also want to take advantage of plums for your moisturization and sun protection needs.