|Rosa Arctica cream. |
© Kiehl's, fair use
It appears that the naming of this product is a total marketing scam and misrepresentation, and an attempt to come up with a scientifically sounding product name that is also attractive to buyers.
I guess Haberlea rhodopensis didn't sound too great to the PR department, so they just invented a new name - which you can't really do in science. In marketing, sure, but I would consider this false marketing since Kiehl's are using an irrelevant and incorrect scientific name. But it works, and Vanity Fair likes the name, since they wrote:
fabulous cream with it, aptly named Rosa Arctica."
What is so aptly with a name that doesn't represent the source plant? Imagine if it had been a name of a chemical name that had been changed into a new name similar to a harmless chemical and used for marketing.
This case is also similar to the renaming of Patagonian Toothfish to Chilean Sea Bass to boost sales, except in this case they adopted the highly regulated scientific naming system for species for their marketing name - Kiehl's didn't just invent a new common name, which would have been much less disturbing.
|ROSA ARCTICA, skin cream by Kiehl's. Image © Kiehl's, fair use|
Extracts from the plant has been shown to help human skin (reference link), but at least some of this research was done by the company, Induchem, that is selling the extract, not by independent scientists.
On the official ingredient list on the product packaging, the extract from the plant (listed as 'Haberlea rhodopensis leaf extract', correctly according to INCI) is in or near the very end of the ingredient list, meaning that it is the ingredient with the smallest concentration in the final product. However, the inaccuracies continue, because on the Kiehl's website, the ingredient is listed as "Rosa Arctica (Haberlea rhodopensis)", which is totally inaccurate. There is nothing called this name in nature, nor in INCI's official list of plant-derived ingredients. And the reason is, of course, that Rosa Arctica does not exist, except as a marketing ploy for selling more of Kiehl's products. It might work great on your skin, but there is no logical or ethical reason why this product should have a fake scientific name.