When first introduced to Royal Fern Skincare, I was intrigued. Admittedly, it sounded a little strange. Even to me, someone who tries to be as green as they come, putting fern on my face just didn’t have the same ring to it as, say, camellia oil or rose kaolin clay.

Luckily, ferns are making a comeback. Gone are the associations with lonely doctors’ offices and decrepit hanging plastic planters. Today a quick Pinterest search reveals ferns can spruce up bathrooms and kitchens, serve as show-stoppers in sleek ceramic planters and be an elegant sign of life atop a dresser or mantle.

Could fern plants be a similar shining star in skincare? I wondered. I soon discovered: Yes.

Apparently Royal Fern is one of the most resilient plants on the planet. Evergreen, it’s survived for over 400 million years, adapting as the earth’s climate has changed. This is why Dr. Timm Golueke, one of Munich’s top dermatologists, saw its potential for skin. He developed the Royal Fern Complex to specifically help skin better withstand stress, aging and environmental influences. Fern extracts are combined with phytoactive substances like rose blossom, sea buckthorn and African Voacanga seeds and time-released into the skin over 12 hours. The result is smoother, more hydrated, even skin tone that looks healthy and radiant.

royal fern collection

This is why I had to sample it. Now in my early 30s, I’ve come to prize good skincare over makeup any day, so after trying his eye cream and face wash I’m happy to report that I can (honestly and non-sponsoredly) say I believe in it.

In fact, I was so enamoured with his eye cream that I reached out to Dr. Golueke for more of his thoughts on skincare and “anti-aging.” Below is a bit of his advice:

NZB: Women hear the term “anti-aging” a lot when it comes to skincare. Can you break down what that actually means?

Dr. Golueke: The term “anti-aging” doesn’t suggest a product will entirely alter the natural aging process of our skin — anti-aging products reduce unwanted signs of aging such as dryness and pigmentation.

NZB: How do stress, poor diet and alcohol directly affect the skin? Does it expedite the anti-aging process?

Dr. Golueke: Stress, poor diet and alcohol lead to the release of free radicals which directly results in the loss of collagen and elasticity. These are two of the main factors that lead to skin aging. If you have burger occasionally, stress occasionally, etc. it won’t dramatically affect the skin. It really has to be the right balance.

NZB: Patients come to you from all over the world. What is the most common mistake you see them making with their skin?

Dr. Golueke: The biggest mistake I see in my patients is not wearing sunscreen every day. Do you bike to work? If the answer is yes, you need sunscreen. Do you participate in sports, run outside, or visit the park? Yes, you need sunscreen. It really is the most common mistake.

I also find that many patients do not use an eye cream. It’s the most delicate area of skin on our face and due to constant movement, the area needs extra care.

royal fern eye cream

NZB: Is there a right way to apply eye cream?

Dr. Golueke: Applying eye cream should be the last step of your skincare routine. Cleanser, serum, moisturizer and eye cream. Use your second and third fingers to gently tap the skin with the cream in little motions working your way from the middle to the outside. This is better than moving your skin around, which can cause wrinkles after time. The tapping movement is also a lymphatic drainage massage, which treats puffiness.

NZB: What makes the anti-aging properties of Royal Fern so unique?

Dr. Golueke: Royal Fern is the only skincare brand worldwide that harnesses the powerful anti-aging properties of the fern plant. They are anti-aging wonder plants — fern extract (in the patented Royal Fern Complex) reduces hyperpigmentation, it has potent levels of antioxidants, it protects skin from environmental factors, all while brightening and moisturizing your skin.

NZB: I noticed your cleansing balm is actually a gel. It doesn’t get soapy or sudsy like a traditional cleanser, why is that?

Dr. Golueke: The Royal Fern Cleansing Balm isn’t like a traditional cleanser because it’s soap and sulfate free.  Soap and sulfates are not good for your skin. A good cleanser should never strip your skin. Your skin should never feel dry and tight after you cleanse — that will strip your skin of its natural oils. The Cleansing Balm contains soothing cucumber, green tea and the Royal Fern Complex.

NZB: Morning vs. evening. Are there different things we should do to our skin at different times of the day?

Dr. Golueke: In the mornings you should also moisturize and use an SPF. If you sweat at all during the day, reapply sunscreen. At night, it’s important to remove all makeup, diligently cleansing to remove any dirt from the day. I always suggest a cleansing balm, a serum and a night cream.

NZB: Is there universal YES that all women should incorporate into their skincare routine?

Dr. Golueke: A universal YES that all women should incorporate into their skincare routine is SPF and cleanser – they are the most important to a well-rounded routine. To figure out what’s best for your skin, you shouldn’t feel bad about asking a dermatologist. It’s really part of my daily routine that people ask me for product/routine recommendations. I’ve also found that facialists are extremely knowledgeable and sale staff at small indie stores give helpful, genuine advice.

To learn more and discover the Royal Fern Collection for yourself, visit www.royalfern.com. US customers can shop HERE.

Featured Illustration by Cara Olsen for Darling Issue No. 17 (click here to buy it on sale!)


  1. Hi,

    Honestly, this skincare brand is new to me. But I wanted to give a try and include this on my list of my skincare babies. Thank you for sharing.

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