6 Fabulous natural ingredients to add to your beauty routine
Nature is the greatest source of beauty-enhancing means and treatments. Only recently, with the advancement of chemistry, did we start using synthetic stuff like creams and lotions, but now there’s a widespread drive back to nature, and the skincare industry is reflecting this in marketing their products with a focus on the natural ingredients they contain. You may think that this an overstatement but although herbs, which we’ll be talking about here, do tend to take longer to produce visible results, they are also gentler on your skin, and that’s some really good news in our times of allergies and hypersensitivity. Here are six commonly used herbs that you may consider adding to your beauty routine, not just eat them for dinner. One final word before you start reading our list – herbs for skin care are generally used in two ways: internally, as infusion, or tea, and externally, in the form of essential oil or added to face masks.
Sage, which goes so well with any stew, is an excellent anti-inflammatory treatment, which can be added to your daily beauty routine in case you suffer from acne or some other skin inflammation. In addition to the anti-inflammatory properties, however, sage can also be used to slow the aging process, since it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B6. The first two are major antioxidants, and B6 stimulates the immune system. Antioxidants prevent the premature aging and death of the cells, as we all know, so getting your regular fix is essential for maintaining the health of your skin.
What would a classic Italian mozzarella and tomato salad be without basil?! It wouldn’t be a classic mozzarella and tomato salad, that’s for sure. Like the other herbs on this list, however, basil is more than just a flavour-adding condiment. Scientific research has proven that fresh basil can have a powerful positive effect on the immune system. In case you’re wondering what the immune system has to do with skin, think of how irritated your face gets when you get a cold, or the outbreaks you may suffer from strong medicine, prescribed for an internal infection. In short: a healthy immune system means healthy skin.
A salad of few potatoes, green onions, and olives, sprinkled with fresh dill, makes an excellent lunch but the benefits of dill for your skin shouldn’t be overlooked. It has a calming effect, both internally and externally, so it’s good for skin irritations, especially, if you have sensitive skin. What’s more, its chemical composition, featuring vitamins A, B, C and micro elements, such as manganese, calcium and potassium, makes it a great antimicrobial agent, helping with acne and stimulating the overall health of your skin. Also, like most herbs, its health benefits work from the inside out, this time on digestion, and good digestion, like all internal processes, is reflected on the skin.
Rosemary belongs to the same family as sage, the mint family, in case you’re interested. When it comes to skin, however, it’s one of the best anti-aging herbs out there. The reason is that same buzzword of buzzwords – antioxidants. Because of their high concentration in this plant, it is capable of improving skin elasticity for longer, preventing the appearance of wrinkles and age-related spots. Additionally, it can tighten the skin and shrink enlarged pores, giving you a smoother, more supple look. And if that’s not enough, rosemary oil makes for a great deodorant, without irritating chemical substances. Just rub some under your armpits and you are ready to conquer the world.
Oregano is a great healer of skin irritations and wounds, because, as studies have shown, it’s a very strong antibacterial agent. If you think that it has nothing to do with skin, here’s a fun fact: there are various bacteria naturally inhabiting your epidermis and although they are harmless usually, under certain conditions, such as a compromised immune system, they can turn on you with annoying consequences, causing anything from rashes to styes. And here’s another fun fact that will make you respect this so humble-looking herb: it’s so good at fighting bacteria that it can be used to preserve food. You’d need a lot of oregano for this, but it’s still impressive.
Thyme, with its delicate little leaves and violet flowers is both pleasant to look at and tasty in a meal, and it’s also a major natural source of vitamin E, one of the most important nutrients for the skin. This vitamin is essential for maintaining collagen production in the skin, keeping it youthful and well moisturized, delaying wrinkles. This herb is also great against fungal infections, which often cause eczema-like skin damage, as well as against common bacterial infections, including the commonest cause of acne, Propionibacterium. Vitamins A and C are also part of the package that’s standard for all herbs.
Whatever form of application you choose for your herbs, one thing to remember is that fresh herbs are best used directly, raw and uncooked, and dry ones work better when they’ve been heated, to release their goodies. Also, make sure you are not allergic to herbs before using them in your beauty routine. (We only gave you some hints on how you can use these wonderful natural ingredients in your beauty routine, but it’s up to you to do further research, dig deeper and find what suits you best).