By Eleonora Cerasoli
From anti-ageing and protective sunscreen to hydrating hair masks, the demand for botanical beauty products is constantly growing. The popularisation of phytocosmetics (the use of plants in cosmetics) is to be attributed to the increased demand for quality, efficacy and safety assurance. The amazing benefits these plants have on our skin and hair have made them essential ingredients in our beauty routine.
To celebrate National Clean Beauty Day we want to highlight the benefits of 5 plants commonly used in cosmetic products, and we’ve curated a clean and sustainable selection featuring and highlighting each of these powerful ingredients.
This succulent plant has been used for healing purposes for thousands of years. It can be taken internally (food supplements, juices, etc.) for its immunostimulant, digestive and antibacterial properties. It can also be used externally: the plant’s leaves contain a clear liquid that once expelled can easily be made into a gel.
One of the most known benefits of aloe vera is its cooling effect, great for calming sunburns, dry and itchy skin. It’s a miracle plant for reducing inflammation, which is why it can be a great ally to fight cystic acne, and its hydrating properties make it a star ingredient both in skincare and haircare products.
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Echinacea has been a wonderful natural remedy to battle a cold and help to prevent us from getting sick. The anti-inflammatory benefits of this herb have attracted the beauty industry, which has been using Echinacea as a primary beauty ingredient.
For its anti-inflammatory properties, this flowering plant is used in skincare products to treat acne and soothe sunburn. It also contains healthy proteins and oils that help keep your skin hydrated and fight wrinkles. Echinacea is a great ingredient to seek in haircare products as well, as it’s known to hydrate the scalp, reducing dandruff and irritation and promoting hair growth.
Rosehip is commonly found in cosmetic products as pressed seed oil, extracted from the seeds of the wild rose bush Rosa canina. This plant has therapeutic actions against cold, infectious and inflammatory diseases. High in vitamin c, rosehips help strengthen our immune system but are also beneficial to the skin.
The rosehip oil has been proved to be effective on inflammatory dermatitis like eczema. Thanks to the presence of vitamin a, it accelerates the regeneration of epidermal layers in case of lesions or acne scars. Rosehip oil has elasticizing properties, particularly useful for sunburned or dry skin. As a source of vitamin A, C and E it’s a great antioxidant and a wonderful toner to be used after cleansing to rebalance the skin.
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This flowering plant is commonly used in folk medicine for its powerful medicinal properties, but let’s see why it’s so popular in skincare products. As a natural astringent, witch hazel is perfect for oily and combination skins. Applied after cleansing, it helps regulate sebum production and soothe the skin. Because it may prevent acne-causing bacteria from infecting the skin, it’s often used in acne products.
The benefits of witch hazel are not limited to acne-prone skin: the gallic acid and tannins contained in witch hazel have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Rich in antioxidants, wonderful to reduce skin irritation, witch hazel is a great natural toner, or it can be found as an ingredient in cleansers or daily creams.
Ginkgo is an Asian tree whose leaves are used to make an extract, today amongst the most popular supplements in Europe and the US today. Traditionally used to enhance memory and improve blood circulation, ginkgo biloba is popular in skincare products for its antioxidant compounds. It fights and neutralizes free radicals present in the environment (responsible for signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles) and protects the skin against sunrays’ damage.
It’s a great product to treat acne as it has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and the high level of vitamin E contained in the leaves will prevent the skin from scars, pimples but also stretch marks. It can also improve skin conditions like vitiligo or hyperpigmentation by balancing the melanin content in the skin. Lastly, is a great natural cleanser, shown to help with oily skin and clogged pores.
I hope you enjoyed this guide highlighting a few key ingredients to look out for, and our selection of favourite clean and sustainable beauty products. The list of natural hair and skincare ingredients continues, let us know in the comment below if you would like more content around the benefits of plants in your beauty routine.
We would love to hear what are your favourite plant-based ingredients to seek in cosmetic products and which ones work the best for your skin and hair type. Join the conversation in the comment section below or on our Instagram page!
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