The best plants for skin care can be found not only in commercial brands, but sometimes, in your back garden, too!
By Diane Small
We’re always searching for new and effective ways to take care of our skin. We buy a lot of skincare products, in an attempt to smooth away fine lines and keep wrinkles at bay. But did you know some of the most potent ingredients for improving your complexion may be found right in your backyard?
Yep, I’m talking about plants. Sure, loads of skincare brands use them in their products, and we mention a few of those, below. But did you know that applying certain herbs to your skin can be just as effective?
Here are some of the best plants for skincare routines, and how to use them, no matter what your needs may be. But note: unless you want to be soaking in pesticides, it’s essential to ensure the plants you use are organic!
The 10 Best Plants For Skin Care Routines
1. Mint For Spots
Besides smelling lovely, mint is a natural pimple fighter! This is because it contains salicylic acid. Not sure what that is? If you look at the ingredients of many commercial acne products, you’ll probably find it there. This acid naturally helps to remove excess oil from the skin.
Mint juice will not only remove excess oil, but it also helps to soothe acne-prone skin, heal infected skin and relieve itchiness, too!
You can use this herb by mashing a few mint leaves until they form a paste. You can then apply a spot treatment to pimples using the paste. Want a more intensive treatment? You can add a few tablespoons of oatmeal and honey to make a face mask.
2. Moisturize with Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a champion for your skin. It’s loaded with minerals and vitamins that are essential to healthy skin, and it’s deeply hydrating, too.
In addition, aloe vera is well known for its healing properties. It’s used to soothe sunburns, cuts and insect bites, too. In short, it’s one of those skincare must-haves you should always have on hand. The best aloe vera gel is the one that you get from the plant itself. Just grow one yourself, at home. It’s easy to do! However, if you can’t get it from the plant try to purchase an organic gel that has no preservatives added.
You harvest aloe vera gel by carefully cutting the leaves and scooping out the gel. You can then apply it directly to your skin.
3. Fight Acne with Thyme
Thyme is another of the best plants for skin care. More specifically, it’s famous for being extremely effective against acne. In fact, recent studies have demonstrated that thyme is better at clearing acne than Benzoyl Peroxide – the constituent that literally burns the skin out of its acne phase.
It’s so potent, you might have to dilute it. To do so, just infuse a sprig of thyme in around 100ml of witch hazel. You can also infuse a spring in 100ml of organic green tea to form another powerful acne-fighting toner. To keep these fresh, store them in the fridge.
4. Reduce Inflammation with Chamomile
Camomile is well known for helping to reduce inflammation in the skin. Whether you have acne, eczema, or other kinds of skin rashes, you’ll find this useful. Also, if you have skin discoloration due to sunburns or acne, chamomile has lightening properties that can help to make the discolorations less noticeable.
To make use of this amazing beauty potion, simply brew some chamomile tea. Let it sit until it cools, then soak a reusable cotton pad in it, and apply it all over. Gently pat your face dry. Repeat as often as necessary.
Bonus: Chamomile does wonders for lightening and brightening blonde hair! To use, just use the tea mentioned above as a rinse after you shampoo. Repeat for a week, and marvel at the beauty of your mane!
5. Turn Back The Clock With Sage
Sage smells lovely, and acts as an antioxidant to the skin. This makes it great for anti-aging! It’s rich in vitamin A and calcium, both of which help with cell regeneration, helping your skin look younger.
The best way to use sage on. your skin is as a toner. Pour some boiling water on the sage and steep it as you would if you were making tea. You can then allow the mixture to cool and apply it to the skin with a reusable cotton pad or cloth.
Bonus: Sage cleanses oily skin, and is also an excellent rinse for dark hair. Infuse dried or fresh leaves in water and pour it over your hair as a rinse after shampooing. Over time, it will darken your hair, although grey hair is resistant to the effect, of course. If used in combination with crushed black walnut hulls, nettles, coffee and rosemary, the darkening effects will be stronger.
6. Comfrey: So Soothing
Another of the best plants for skin care routines is comfrey. This is a herb that help in skin cell growth. The leaves and the roots are the most potent parts of the plant, and can be used to cure a number of skin, hair, and health related problems. Comfrey moisturises and tones your skin, and helps remove blemishes. It also helps to condition your hair and control hair loss. To use, just apply crushed comfrey leaves directly to the skin or scalp and leave on for at least 15-20 minutes.
For acne and psoriasis sufferers, comfrey may just provide some relief. A tincture made from the root of the plant can be applied directly onto the skin to treat acne, while the flowers and the leaves have powerful anti-inflammatory properties overall when drunk in a tea.
7. Rosemary Can Moisturise the Skin
Rosemary is another of the best plants for skin care. It’s a wonderful moisturiser for the skin, but it has also been found to protect skin from sun damage. Rosemary fights free radicals, and is also useful for keeping fine lines and wrinkles away while improving the elasticity of the skin. Rosemary and sage are often used together and complement each other perfectly.
To use it at home, boil rosemary and sage together. Let it cool, then apply to the skin directly. If you don’t feel like boiling the plants yourself, you can buy rosemary and sage oils and dilute these with a small amount of spring water. You can then use it as a natural astringent on the face.
Another idea is to add rosemary oil to your cleanser. This will help to boost circulation, promoting the healing process and making your skin look more refreshed. Rosemary is also an astringent and a toner – no wonder this essential oil is often found in massage oils, hair rinses, and lotions!
Bonus: An infusion of rosemary in water can help to darken and enrich the shade of your hair. Just use it as a hair rinse as you would with the instructions for sage, mentioned above.
8. Cucumber For Depuffing
This common salad ingredient is well known for its ability to reduce puffiness, tighten the skin and soothe irritation. It’s also typically used to soothe, tighten and lighten dark circles around the eyes.
It’s super easy to use this plant for your beauty routine. Simply cut slices of the fruit and apply directly to the eyes. Alternatively, make some cucumber water and spritz on to your face, or you can puree the flesh and wear it as a face mask for 30 minutes. Why not add some of the other best plants for skin care needs, as mentioned above to the puree, depending on your needs? I personally add rosemary to mine!
9. Rose For Firming
Rose water is very gentle on the skin, and has been used for centuries. It helps to firm it up, reduce redness and inflammation, boost cellular regeneration and improve moisture levels in mature skin. It can be used as a mild astringent or toner, too. You could easily buy a commercial brand, bit if you have organic roses on hand, it couldn’t be easier to make.
Simply pull off the petals from an organic flower, leaving the hip and stamen in place. Gently heat the petals in a pan of mineral water on a low heat for around 20 minutes, until the petals have lost their color. Don’t let it simmer.
Strain the petals and compost them. Place the rose water in a sterilized jar or pump spray bottle and keep it in the fridge. And spritz away! Click here if you’d like to see a great selection of rose based products.
10. Calendula: A Gift For Skin Conditions
Finally, calendula is one of the best plants for skin care. It contains high levels of carotenoids and flavonoids, both of which are powerful antioxidants.
This plant is gentle enough to use on babies, and it can help to heal wounds faster. It also helps to keep the skin moist. Add calendula flowers to some fresh water. Let it sit for 24 hours and spritz the infusion on to your skin. Let your skin soak up the water for as long as possible. You can then use a gentle cleanser to wash it off. Follow it up with a light moisturiser.
Alternatively, if you want to hydrate your entire body, you can draw a bath and then put the flower inside of it. Soaking it up for several minutes so that the skin all over your body will reap the benefits.
What do you think are the best plants for skin care? Which do you use? Let us know in the comments, below!