Science has proven that chemicals in skincare penetrate the skin and can affect us the same way as if they were ingested.
With an increase in skin awareness that is all changing, thank goodness! Go to any beauty counter, and you’ll see dozens of skincare products featuring plant-based or botanical extracts. Most of them work to heal, moisturize, cleanse, and have anti-aging properties. However, do not fret there are natural skin care remedies that you can grow in your garden or pick up at your local grocery store.
Here are 7 plants that provide natural skincare benefits:
Thyme contains phenols which help kill the bacteria that causes acne. Studies show that the phenols in thyme kill more bacteria than many pharmaceutical treatments such as benzoyl peroxide (the chemical used in most acne creams). Also, thyme does not dry out your skin.
Tip: Remove some leaves and soak them in apple cider vinegar for a few weeks (another excellent natural skin care product) and use directly on your skin to reduce outbreaks and fight off bacteria.
Aloe Vera is one of the most common and effective plants used in herbal skin care remedies. I have an Aloe Vera plant in my home and we’re always cracking a spike open to sooth burns and rashes. The plant’s gel-like substance offers instant soothing relief to rashes, insect bites or sunburn and can be applied directly to the affected area.
It soothes and hydrates the skin while helping to repair damage, can be used as a moisturizing cream or topical lotion for rashes or sunburn. Aloe Vera hydrates the skin and has vitamins C and E which fight against free radical damage as well as vitamin A to boost collagen production.
Tip: Aloe Vera can be used directly from the plant leaf or added to some natural coconut oil as a calming and ultra-hydrating moisturizer. Apply all over your body and leave to soak in thoroughly.
Full of aromatherapy benefits, lavender also works with the immune system to help fight off infection and is one of the best cleansing and healing plants available. Those with sensitive skin get the extra benefits because of its mild and soothing properties that can reduce inflammation and keep your skin blemish free.
Lavender is also great for stress and is known to aid in the sleeping process.
Tip: Use lavender leaves or lavender essential oil and place a few drops into purified water to spray on your skin. Alternatively, you can add some of the essential oil or crushed plant leaves to some organic coconut oil for a natural moisturizing cream.
Mint is rich in salicylic acid which is used in the treatment of chronic and persistent acne, and the juice obtained from mint is also an excellent skin cleanser that can help manage excessive oil.
Mint’s anti-inflammatory properties make it excellent for the treatment of everything from cuts, wounds and mosquito bites to dry and itchy skin. Also, the cooling sensation will relieve irritation and reduce the constant urge to scratch.
Tip: Mix a tablespoon of oatmeal with mint juice to make a face scrub that removes dead cells and unclogs stubborn pores. Mint is also perfect in your bath water to help your skin feel refreshed and revitalized.
One of the most potent anti-aging plants, Hibiscus is known as the ‘Botox’ plant. With its incredible ability to inhibit the activity of the enzyme elastase (which is responsible for breaking down skin’s elastin), hibiscus actively combats the aging process by firming your skin and increases skin elasticity giving you a stunning natural youth-boost.
Tip: Use it as a moisturizer or toner at the end of the day. Add it to some Greek yogurt or olive oil and apply a little around your eyes or anywhere on your face or body that is prone to wrinkles or sagging skin.
German chamomile, also known as blue chamomile, is a healing herb that can be used effectively for both skin and hair and offers potent anti-inflammatory properties. When applied directly onto the skin, it reduces redness while firming and toning the skin’s layers.
In hair care, Chamomile is a natural lightener. Use a water infusion of the flowers as a hair rinse or as in leave in conditioner. If you want to increase the lightening power of Chamomile, combine with a small amount of lemon juice.
Tip: For a body moisturizer, dry out the flowers and soak them in olive oil or jojoba to create your natural serum. You can also massage it into your hair and scalp as a conditioning overnight mask.
Roses not only look beautiful in your garden, but they also improve the look of your skin. Roses work to moisturize, brighten and protect skin from trans-epidermal water loss and airborne pollutants helping keep your skin hydrated throughout the day. It’s also one of the best toners for reducing irritation and redness when breakouts do occur.
Roses petals contain vitamin C, which works with your immune system to repair oxidative stress damage to the cells. When used on a regular basis, your skin will look firmer and will feel softer.
Tip: Put some fresh rose petals into purified water to create a toner for your face. You’ll feel and see the results within days.
Now, get working on your garden! Your skin will thank you.