With the rise of the cosmetic industry, we’re exposed to a variety of skin-care products that claim to solve all our beauty woes. However, thanks to the toxic elements they carry, these products are not always safe. Fortunately, there is an alternative to these synthetic and artificial products. Practitioners of ayurveda swear by herbal and natural methods of skin care. These herbs promise a smooth and supple skin, natural radiance, and an escape from most of the skin maladies.
1. Aloe Vera
Extract 10–20ml gel from an aloe vera leaf. Massage it to your face and wash it off after 15 minutes.
This medicinal plant has been revered by beauticians for its skin benefits. Aloe vera gel, which is the freshly extracted juice from the aloe vera plant, evens your skin tone and enhances your complexion. It also flushes out the toxins in your skin and prevents acne.1
Extract 10–20ml fresh juice from the leaves, and apply it to your skin. You can also pound the neem leaves into small balls, which can then be taken on an empty stomach.
One of the most popular herbs for healthy skin, neem can not only give you glowing skin but also help treat skin infections. A natural cleansing agent, neem can promote skin health by flushing out the toxins from your body and purifying your blood. Topical application of neem can significantly reduce the formation of acne and promote clear skin, thanks to the antibacterial and antifungal activities of Gedunin, a component of neem seed oil.2
Twice a week, apply a pinch of turmeric mixed in water on your skin. However, don’t use too much turmeric as it could leave a yellow stain on the skin.
A herb that’s been used for over 4000 years, turmeric is highly beneficial for your skin. It can make your skin feel soft and supple. From reducing inflammation to fighting fungal infections, turmeric can also be used to treat several skin conditions.3
Mix 3–6g sandalwood powder in 4 tbsp coconut oil. Apply to your face every night before going to bed.
This fragrant herb from the Indian subcontinent can make your face shine while making you smell like summer. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties also help treat acne, wounds, and even psoriasis. Furthermore, sandalwood is used by cancer patients to manage the skin reactions caused as a result of radiation or chemotherapy.4 5
Drink 2 tbsp rose water on an empty stomach once or twice a day.
Rose can effectively reduce the roughness and puffiness of the skin, making you feel softer and look brighter. Its vitamin C content also helps fight the aging process, smoothens your skin, and prevents the formation of wrinkles. It also removes the excess heat from your body and enhances the glow on your skin.6
Mix saffron in water and apply the paste to your face. Wash after 15 minutes. Use no more than half to one gram of saffron.
By purifying your blood and removing blemishes, saffron can make your skin glow. It also moisturizes the skin and rejuvenates dry skin. Additionally, saffron can protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun and fight photodamage.7
Extract comfrey oil by boiling, crushing, and juicing comfrey leaves. Apply on your face daily.
A skin-friendly herb, comfrey has astringent properties that tighten and tone your skin. Its moisturizing property nourishes dry skin and makes you glow. Allantoin, a compound present in comfrey, also prevents inflammation, acne, and skin irritation.8
8. Witch Hazel
Make a decoction using between 5 and 10 gm of the witch hazel bark infused in a cup of water. Apply this decoction twice a day.
If your skin has lost its glow, sun damage could be one of the reasons. Witch hazel protects your skin from the sun and repairs damaged skin cells. It also reduces inflammation and prevents acne, swelling, or skin itchiness.9 10
To get healthy, glowing skin, ditch your commercial cosmetics and go for these natural methods of skin care. However, before trying any of these herbs, perform a patch test to see if you are allergic to it, and proceed with caution. Additionally, don’t use these herbs on your child’s skin without consulting a dermatologist.
|↑1||Why is Aloe Vera so Good for Skin Care? Evergreen Beauty College.|
|↑2||Biswas, Kausik, Ishita Chattopadhyay, Ranajit K. Banerjee, and Uday Bandyopadhyay. “Biological activities and medicinal properties of neem (Azadirachta indica).” CURRENT SCIENCE-BANGALORE- 82, no. 11 (2002): 1336-1345.|
|↑3||Chattopadhyay, Ishita, Kaushik Biswas, Uday Bandyopadhyay, and Ranajit K. Banerjee. “Turmeric and curcumin: Biological actions and medicinal applications.” CURRENT SCIENCE-BANGALORE- 87 (2004): 44-53.|
|↑4||Sharma, Manju, Corey Levenson, Ian Clements, Paul Castella, Kurt Gebauer, and Michael E. Cox. “East Indian Sandalwood Oil (EISO) Alleviates Inflammatory and Proliferative Pathologies of Psoriasis.” Frontiers in Pharmacology 8 (2017).|
|↑5||Palatty, P. L., A. Azmidah, S. Rao, D. Jayachander, K. R. Thilakchand, M. P. Rai, R. Haniadka et al. “Topical application of a sandal wood oil and turmeric based cream prevents radiodermatitis in head and neck cancer patients undergoing external beam radiotherapy: a pilot study.” The British journal of radiology 87, no. 1038 (2014): 20130490.|
|↑6||THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OF ROSE ESSENTIAL OIL BY ACHS GRAD DR. GEETANJALI RANADE. American College of Healthcare Sciences.|
|↑7||Golmohammadzadeh, Shiva, Mahmoud Reza Jaafari, and Hossein Hosseinzadeh. “Does saffron have antisolar and moisturizing effects?.” Iranian journal of pharmaceutical research: IJPR 9, no. 2 (2010): 133.|
|↑8||Pomfrey. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑9||Bedi, Monica K., and Philip D. Shenefelt. “Herbal therapy in dermatology.” Archives of dermatology 138, no. 2 (2002): 232-242.|
|↑10||Reuter, Juliane, Ute Wölfle, Hans Christian Korting, and Christoph Schempp. “Which plant for which skin disease? Part 2: Dermatophytes, chronic venous insufficiency, photoprotection, actinic keratoses, vitiligo, hair loss, cosmetic indications.” JDDG: Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft 8, no. 11 (2010): 866-873.|