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.
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 and wellness, 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 healthy 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 skin issues and to help maintain healthy blood sugar. It’s most often made into a hot tea or extracts so it can be added to food.
You could add this tea to a homemade face wash or infuse oils with it.
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 to support healthy skin.
Both the leaves and the seeds of the alfalfa plant are used for skin health.
Alfalfa contains plenty of carotene, which can be converted into vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that’s critical for skin, hair and nail health.
Alfalfa also contains necessary trace minerals, amino acids vitamin K and chlorophyll. Just be sure you aren’t working with GMO alfalfa. A good way to do that is to choose organic alfalfa.
Nettle leaves have wonderful properties for soothing skin issues, especially in children. Nettles can help clear up many common skin problems.
Make sure to use gloves when harvesting nettle (get more tips about harveting and using nettle here) 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 extremely rich in vitamin C, making them ideal for creating an all purpose health tonic.
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 immune boosting gummies.
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 anti-inflammatory properties.
It can be used in a compress to support healing injuries and lesions of the skin. When eaten, turmeric root cleanses the blood, which can contribute to overall skin health.
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 inflamed and irritated skin.
8. Burdock Root
Burdock Root can also be consumed in a tea or used in a compress to help address skin issues like eczema and acne. It can also help to soothe bruises, boils, canker sores and warts.
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. Spirulina can help to cleanse blood and support healthy circulation, which in turn helps to promote optimal skin health.
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 health. Rosemary stimulates hair follicles, so many people think it can help put off the unwanted change to gray hair and balding when used in a shampoo.
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 and help heal minor burns.
However, its ability to promote rapid cell regeneration helps support the body to soothe rashes, scratches and many other common skin problem types.
Aloe vera can be made into an aloe juice drink, which is great for skin and digestion.
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 and can help cleanse and build blood.
These properties make it a great choice for many skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
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 inflamed, itchy, scaly 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.