Botanical skincare is booming, with people of all ages now choosing to ditch commercially-produced toxin-filled skincare products in favour of plant skincare made with herbs, plants, and botanicals as the active ingredients. To get you started, here are just 5 plant-based natural ingredients for glowing skin.
Aloe vera benefits for skin (and hair)
The aloe vera plant is famous in the skincare world for its healing and soothing properties. Extracted from the aloe vera plant, aloe is good for skin and the scalp and has even been found to be effective in preventing and treating dandruff. A healthy scalp = healthy hair.
Aloe is a natural source of salicylic acids which is useful in treating acne-prone skin. Holding naturally antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera can be used effectively alongside acne treatments to soothe and calm breakouts. Say goodbye to pimples!
For those suffering from eczema or psoriasis, aloe may help to reduce the redness and inflammation associated with these conditions and help to protect the skin against bacterial and fungal infections.
Shea butter benefits for skin
Raw shea butter is one of the best natural moisturisers for the skin. Rich in vitamins E and A, shea holds powerful anti-aging properties and promotes elasticity in the skin.
Not to be confused with the highly processed, unrefined, bleached, and deodorised shea butter most commonly found in commercial skincare products, the African shea butter we use in our natural soap bars is purchased from a small fairtrade women's co-op in Ghana and is pure, grade-A raw shea quality. These hardworking women produce the shea from the carefully selected nuts of the Karité tree, which grows wild in Ghana. This raw shea butter is packed with skin (and hair) loving nutrients including triterpene and plant sterols which hold incredible anti-inflammatory properties for the skin. Say hello to glowing skin :)
Jilima Co-op's raw shea butter is perfect for use in cold processed soaps as it contains oodles of natural glycerides, AKA glycerin, which help to lock moisture into your skin. Try any of our shea butter soap bars and whipped body butters and you'll feel the difference!
Calendula benefits for skin
The calendula plant (Calendula Officinalis) is an absolute gem in any skincare formulation. This powerful plant has been used for centuries to soothe and calm the skin, and is often found in the form of a calendula balm or potent tincture.
Here are just some of the benefits of using calendula on the skin:
Naturally rich in antioxidants, calendula may help to protect the skin from damage by UV rays and pollution.
Calendula is ideal for anyone with sensitive or irritated skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. That's why you'll often see calendula cream for eczema sufferers, and you'll also find calendula in creams and lotions formulated for babies and small children.
Calendula holds antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, which can help to speed up the healing process of minor cuts, burns, and rashes.
The best way of extracting these powerful plant benefits is by infusing the petals from the calendula flower in organic cold pressed carrier oils, such as sweet almond oil, hemp seed oil and many others. When making our Wildflower Meadow natural soap bars, we infuse calendula petals (along with flowers from the dandelion plant) in olive oil for 6 weeks. This method ensures that the incredible benefits of the calendula plant are captured and contained in the oil.
Nettle leaf benefits for skin
The leaves and stems of the stinging nettle plant (Urtica Dioica) are covered in fine hairs that can leave a painful sting if you touch them. However, once the leaves have been picked and dried, it's a completely different story! Nettles have been used in herbal remedies since ancient times due to their anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing benefits.
As nettles are rich in vitamins A and C, nettle skin benefits may include a fresher, glowing complexion when applied as a tea rinse or when infused into carrier oils. Nettles may also help to reduce inflammation if you suffer from acne, and could even help to reduce the scarring associated with pimples.
You'll find nettle leaves in our Nettle & Tea Tree natural soap bars.
Turmeric benefits for skin
Let's talk about the glowing skin secrets of turmeric! Turmeric is a form of ginger native to Southeast Asia that's been used for centuries in herbal medicines. You may be more familiar with turmeric used as a spice in curries (or even to spice up a latte). However, it's one of those amazing ingredients that's pretty much anti-everything when it comes to your skin, including:
Turmeric is a natural antioxidant
Turmeric is naturally anti-inflammatory
Turmeric has anti-ageing properties
Turmeric is naturally antimicrobial
On top of all that, this golden oldie can help to detoxify and exfoliate the skin naturally and is especially helpful to anyone suffering with inflammation from acne, psoriasis, or puffy skin in general (think eye bags!). You'll find turmeric in many skincare formulations, including creams, face masks, gels, and shampoos, as well as in natural soap bars.
It's no secret that plant-based herbs, spices and flowers, have been used since the dawn of time to treat various skin problems and ailments. However, since the appearance of lab-produced chemicals for use in skincare products, we seem to have forgotten about the amazing benefits these ingredients have to offer - not just for our skin, but for our health and the health of our precious planet too. With synthetic ingredients polluting our skin and the environment, maybe now is a good time to revisit the powerful properties of plants. Wouldn't you agree?