It seems like there’s a new trendy skin care ingredient every week—one that promises to erase your wrinkles, smooth your skin, and give you the glow of a unicorn. It’s hard to keep track. But more often than not, these so-called miracle ingredients tend to stem from plants.
In fact, The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology reported that, these days, botanical extracts are the largest category of additives found in cosmeceutical products. Basically, we asked for natural products, and the beauty industry is listening. Of course, this is great news. The problem is, just because a product contains [insert amazing plant-based ingredient here], doesn’t always mean it’s entirely natural.
With that in mind, some natural beauties prefer to go straight to the source and buy the ingredients in pure form. Here are just a few plant-based extracts that could actually work mini miracles on your skin. (Just make sure to consult with a holistic health expert and properly dilute oils and extracts—applying them directly in their most concentrated form can be toxic.)
Spanish Chestnut Extract
Let’s face it. It’s not unlikely that you have skin damage under the surface after years of living it up in the sun (no judgement here). Luckily, chestnut extract, also referred to as castanea sativa extract, has been shown to treat signs of premature aging due to sun exposure.
Date Palm Extract
A study published in the International Journal of Tissue Reactions looked at the anti-aging properties of date palm extract. Researches concluded it was effective in reducing surface wrinkles and decreasing their depth. A whopping 60 percent of participants saw visual improvement.
Almond Kernel Extract
We’ve long known that eating almonds can benefit your skin because of their vitamin E content. Recently, Cosmetics, a journal dedicated to publishing skin research, also found that almond kernel extract could help treat pimples and skin conditions like eczema.
Could plants actually become the new SPF? It probably needs more long-term research, but the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found pomegranate extract to be a powerful agent in protecting skin from UVA and UVB rays.
Pine Bark Extract
In addition to that whole keeping-you-alive thing, trees can also play a role in the TLC of your skin. Specifically, pine bark extract has been shown to increase hydration and elasticity of skin. Researchers believe this is because it helps boost the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen. More research needs to be done on the latter, but they’re pretty certain it has a bright future in the beauty industry.
Aloe Vera Extract
Psoriasis be damned! No one knows what causes it, and treating is proving to be tricky. So, the European Journal of Tropical Medicine and International Health conducted a 12-month study on the ability of aloe vera extract to treat psoriasis. Eighty-three percent of participants who applied the topical cream were cured.
Got skin redness or irritation? Look for german chamomile extract. In addition to having positive effects on treating wounds, it was found to reduce redness and irritations because of its anti-inflammatory qualities. (Maybe this is also a good reason to break out your tea diffuser?)
High in flavonoids and carotenoids, calendula extract can help protect your skin from free radicals, and it also posses anti-inflammatory properties. The Journal of Medicinal Plants Research also found it to be more effective when applied topically than orally in protecting your skin from sunlight.
Coming from the whole fruit of coffea arabica plants (not the actual beans that make us come alive every morning), coffeeberry extract has been associated with improving rosacea and managing hyperpigmentation. Too boot, Leslie Baumann, professor and director of cosmetic dermatology at the University of Miami, told Allure that it’s one of the most powerful antioxidants in skin care right now.
This post was sponsored by Carmex Comfort Care.