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For thousands of years, quinoa has grown on the Andean Altiplano and served as a staple food for its people. The Incas regarded it as a holy plant and worshipped its seeds. It is said that its very high protein and amino acid content played a major role in the spread of the Incan civilization. Abandoned on its high plateaus during the Spanish conquest of South America, quinoa was then rediscovered by westerners in the 1970s and its seeds are now eaten for their exceptional nutritional benefits. In cosmetics, quinoa seed extract helps nourish the skin and improve the quality of the corneal layer. The quinoa used by Clarins Laboratories and developed exclusively for the brand, is cultivated organically.