Got breakouts? Redness? Dark Spots? Irritated Skin? There’s an herb for that. In fact, you can name just about any skin problem, and Mother Nature has the solution to it. In a world of harsh “active ingredients,” painful injections, and invasive treatments it’s easy to believe that we need that stuff to have vibrant skin. The truth is that nature has been skin’s best friend FAR longer than any of these ingredients and treatments existed, and herbs can help the skin when taken internally and applied topically*. If you want healthy-looking skin, trust Mother Nature–she’s got plenty of herbs for glowing skin.
To get you started, here are 9 of my favorite herbs for glowing skin.
Ginger is a potent, natural anti-inflammatory that reduces redness and irritation caused by blemishes which in turn helps curb breakouts. Ginger also can minimize the appearance of large pores.
Ginger is a natural antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory properties, and helps support blood circulation. That, in turn, can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin complexion. While some preparations of ginger are appropriate for topical use (in small amounts as it can be too heating in large amounts or if too concentrated), I recommend adding ginger to your tea or smoothies for best results.
2. Aloe vera:
Aloe vera is a great natural moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated naturally and prevent dryness. Aloe vera is an excellent antimicrobial agent that also helps to reduce the appearance of age wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots.
You can also use aloe to replace petroleum jelly since it is equally as effective at moisturizing and protecting the skin without clogging pores or suffocating the skin. Aloe vera also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to calm irritated skin, reduce redness and irritation, and soothe sunburns and rashes.
Fun fact: aloe vera is one of the few moisturizing ingredients that has both humectant AND emollient properties! Learn more about aloe in this blog post.
Calendula is one of the best known herbs for glowing skin. Known for its soothing properties, it is very gentle and is commonly seen in products designed for babies and children. You can use it to help a wide variety of minor skin conditions, including burns, bruises, cuts, scrapes, and sunburns. Calendula also helps to reduce the appearance of scars, blemishes and age spots.
Calendula is a flowering plant that contains natural antioxidants like Vitamin C to help rejuvenate and moisturize the skin. You can use its extracts topically, and also add it to your tea.
CBD is one of the buzziest ingredients for skincare and overall wellbeing these days. Though it’s just recently been touted as a “miracle ingredient,” the plant Cannabis sativa has been in use for its medicinal properties for centuries.
The cannabinoids present in cannabis, such as CBD, CBG, and CBDa have many skin benefits ranging from anti-inflammatory, analgesic (good for pain and soothing irritation), and antimicrobial properties. Most CBD extracts on the skincare market come from strains of the plant that do not contain significant amounts of THC (the psychoactive compound that cannabis is known for).
Cannabis seeds are used to make hemp oil, known for its lightweight moisturizing properties, fatty acids, and vitamin E. It helps calm inflammation and improve skin elasticity, without feeling heavy on the skin.
Aside from its topical benefits, CBD is known to soothe emotions and nerves as well. Add CBD extract or oil to your skincare routine for best results. CBD extracts are also found as dietary supplements, tea blends, and functional foods.
Basil is a natural fungicide that may help to keep opportunistic fungus on the skin’s surface. It can also help reduce inflammation and support tissue regeneration, making it beneficial for blemishes, rashes, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a great herb to include in your diet to encourage clear skin. Add it to salads, smoothies, sauces, and soups. Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) is beneficial as well, for its adaptogenic properties.
Sage makes a great seasoning for soups, poultry dishes, and in tea, but it also has topical uses for its antioxidant properties. This herb is also known to support healthy sebum protection and soothe irritation.
Sage is great in cleansers, bath salts, or as an antioxidant to help prevent your oil serums from going rancid. Its antioxidant properties, which help combat the signs of premature aging. It works as a stimulant for our scalp, which helps support healthy hair growth and keep the scalp healthy and balanced.
Rosemary is a vivacious herb. It helps improve circulation, which is excellent for keeping your skin healthy and glowing. Plus, it has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties which help keep topical skincare products fresh (it is not a broad spectrum preservative though).
Rosemary has several internal health benefits that help your skin to glow from within. It helps reduce stress and uplift the mood, which are key for healthy skin. It also acts as a stimulant for the scalp, helping you grow stronger hair with a healthy shine.
Chamomile has a long history of use in skincare for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and soothing properties. It’s most known for sensitive skin, but it can help improve a wide variety of skin issues. Chamomile can be used to reduce the appearance of redness, inflammation, and irritation with its mild astringent properties. It also helps to fight acne.
Chamomile also works as an antioxidant, helping to improve the appearance of age spots, dryness, fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, and other signs of premature aging. In addition, chamomile is a relaxant and can help relieve stress.
You can also use chamomile essential oil in a diffuser or apply it topically, diluted in a carrier oil. Chamomile tea can be used as a compress, or as an ingredient in your skincare products. You can also add fresh chamomile flowers to your bath water for calming baths before bedtime.
This herb has a lovely cooling effect on the skin. Peppermint can be used to treat acne, but it is most often used as an astringent and for its antiseptic properties. Not only does this herb work on the skin, but you will also find peppermint oil in many body care products because of its refreshing scent.
Though peppermint essential oil is used most commonly, my favorite thing to do is add it to facial tea blends for steams and compresses. If you are using peppermint oil, make sure to use steam distilled only, and avoid the sun.
Important herbal skincare considerations…
Herbs are an excellent natural remedy for specific skin problems and for daily skincare. They have a long history of safe usage, when used appropriately, as long as you don’t have an allergy. That being said, some herbs do have contraindications (such as for pregnancy or breastfeeding), or might mix badly with pharmaceutical ingredients.
It’s always best to know what you’re doing when working with herbs, or work with a trained herbalist or herbal skincare formulator. If you have a medical condition, take medication, or have questions about using herbs for your specific skin situation, please consult with a licensed healthcare provider who understands herbs (naturopathic doctors and doctors of East Asian and Ayurvedic medicine are usually well versed in herbs) and their contraindications.
Do you want to take a deeper dive into using herbs for glowing skin?
Check out the Herbal Skincare Summit Kit. This package offers video classes, a workbook with recipes, and bonus content from some of the most sought-after herbal skincare experts in the business. You will learn the ins and outs of using herbs for glowing skin, and also some considerations if you want to incorporate herbs into your skincare product line.
It’s available HERE for on-demand learning!
About the author:
Alexandra Doherty is a proficient content writer with comprehensive experience of 5+ years in the CBD and health verticals. She has always been passionate about writing and has gradually moved towards CBD because of its emerging health benefits and uses. She has covered almost all the aspects of Cannabis, CBD, and related matters. Follow her on Facebook and connect with her on LinkedIn.