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Best Herbs to Grow & Use for Skin Care

Learn how to choose the best herbs for your natural skin care products. Grow them in your herb garden or buy them in bulk for your DIY beauty projects.

Various herbs grown in an herb garden and hung to dry with a mortar and pestle for grinding and oil bottles on the table
© Deposit Photos / ChamilleWhite

When it comes to following natural skin care routines, sometimes all we have to do is go to our kitchen or pantry and peruse our spice racks or walk out to our herb gardens to gather the needed ingredients.

Humankind has known for millennia that herbs can be used not only for cooking, but for natural beauty as well. For example, some herbs have an astringent quality while other can aid your skin in moisture absorption. Others can help you clear up an acne breakout and so your skin can have a fresh glow.

If you want to learn more about herbs and natural skin care, here is a list of the 13 best herbs and spices to use in natural skin care. If you can, grow these fresh herbs in your herb garden. If not, consider purchasing herbs in bulk and keep them in your herbal supply cabinet.

1. Oat Straw.

Oat Straw comes from the stem of oat plants when they’re still green and the sap is still milky. It’s a wonderful herb to keep on hand for many reasons.

It’s a wonderful source of both calcium and silica. Oat Straw has been utilized for centuries for balancing skin issues. It’s most often made into a hot tea or extracts so it can be added to food too.

You could add this tea to our homemade face wash recipe or infuse oils with it.

2. Horsetail.

Horsetail, which is also known as shavegrass, was often used as an exfoliant until modern times. An astringent, horsetail is chock full of silica, which is great for supporting skin suppleness.

It can be consumed as a tea, but for skin care, you can use horsetail that has been dried and powdered to make a poultice to place directly on skin. You can also add horsetail to a warm bath.

3. Alfalfa.

Both the leaves and the seeds of the alfalfa plant are used for skin care because it’s full of great nutrients for fresh looking skin.

4. Nettles.

Nettle leaves have wonderful properties for soothing irritated skin, especially in children.

Make sure to use gloves when harvesting nettle or you could get stung. These nettle leaves can be used in a tea or tincture, at which time their stinging hairs will be neutralized and safe to touch.

5. Rose Hips.

If you haven’t heard of these before, rose hips are the fruit that comes from rose plants. They are rich in vitamin C, making them ideal for keeping skin looking youthful.

Rose Hips can be consumed as a tea, in pre-filled capsules, as part of a mask or in a facial. It also makes an excellent jelly and I love adding it to my homemade elderberry syrup, which then gets added to elderberry gummies.

6. Turmeric.

Turmeric is all over the place these days, and for good reason. It’s derived from the rhizome of a plant that very closely resembles a ginger plant. And it has amazing properties for soothing skin.

It can be used in a compress, eaten in foods or drank in a turmeric tea. You can buy fresh turmeric in the produce section on many grocery stores, or purchase turmeric powder online.

7. Irish Moss.

If you didn’t know, Irish Moss is often called carrageenan, that additive that thickens store-bought ice cream dairy alternatives.

If you’ve noticed Irish Moss used in skin care products, it’s because it acts as a demulcent when it’s applied to skin. That simply means it helps to soothe irritated skin.

8. Burdock Root.

Burdock Root can also be consumed in a tea or used in a compress to help address soothe irritated skin.

9. Spirulina

Out of all of the ingredients on this list spirulina is probably one of the ones you’re most likely to be familiar with. Most people purchase this micro-algae in the form of a dried powder that can be sprinkled over meals and even mixed into snack bars and beverages.

It’s a good source of chlorophyll, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and proteins. When added to skincare products, spirulina can help maintain optimal skin appearance.

10. Rosemary.

You probably have this popular herb in your kitchen or garden already. Next time you’re working on a DIY beauty project, grab some rosemary.

The aromatic leaves can help tone skin and is extremely good for hair. Rosemary stimulates hair follicles, so rosemary oil is often used in haircare products.

11. Aloe Vera.

Many people have aloe vera growing in their yards. While it’s most known for its gel, which can be used to soothe skin discomfort.

Aloe vera can be made into an aloe juice drink, which is great for moisturized skin.

12. Yellow Dock Root.

Most typically drank as a tea or consumed in a capsule, the mildly astringent yellow dock root is rich in iron.

These properties make it a great choice for many skin irritations.

13. Sarsaparilla Root

Root beer comes to mind when I hear sarsaparilla. So you may not know that it’s great for skin too. You can use the oil of the sarsaparilla root topically to irritated, itchy skin.

As you can see, herbs have many uses in our natural skincare routines. Look for products that contain these herbs or learn how to make your own.

Enroll in the Botanical Skin Care Course with the Herbal Academy

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