In my last article, I discussed 10 of the top toxic ingredients to avoid in your skin care routine. Avoiding these 10 ingredients will go a long way in helping you to have (and keep) the healthy skin you are looking for. Now that you know what to avoid, here are a few ingredients, found in nature, that can help heal, repair and soothe the skin.
Using and/or making skin care products with these 5 great herbs for your skin can up your skin care game in a serious way!
Historically, Calendula has been used in reducing inflammation, promoting wound healing, and as an antiseptic. It has been used to treat a variety of skin diseases including skin ulcerations and eczema. This is the first thing I reach for whenever one of the children has a cut, scratch, scrape or rash.
Comfrey is one of the best skin healers in the plant kingdom. The allantoin content of comfrey stimulates cell proliferation, supporting wound healing externally and internally. It is also astringent and anti-inflammatory.
Plantain is almost unparalleled in its ability to draw foreign objects out of the skin. This includes not only shards of glass and slivers, but venom, poison, dirt and pus as well. With it's additional properties of being anti-inflammatory, astringent and anti-microbial, Plantain is one of western herbalism's primary topical healing herbs.
Chickweed is commonly used as an external remedy for cuts, scrapes, wounds, itching and irritation, especially the irritation of eczema and psoriasis. It's soothing nature makes it an excellent choice for calming the irritation of bug bites.
Self-Heal goes by many names – All Heal, Heal All and Woundwort, to name a few. I think this about says it all doesn't it? Used topically, Self-Heal is one of the best skin healing herbs there is. And, most people can find it right in their backyard!
In fact, most, if not all, of the herbs mentioned here are considered weeds which you might see everyday as you look out your back door. In any case, they are easy to find and easy to grow in most temperate climates.
Now that you know about these 5 great herbs for your skin how do you use them?
Well, there are many ways to use herbs for your skin. The simplest method is to mash them up with your fingers, or chew them up and then put the mashed, chewed poultice of herb on the affected area of skin. For example, this can be done with chickweed on a mosquito bite, comfrey on a scrape or plantain on a bee sting.
Another way to get the benefits of these herbs to your skin is to make a strong tea with them and when it cools enough to the touch, soak a clean cloth in the tea and lay it on the skin. This is called a fomentation.
My favorite way to use herbs for your skin is to make an herbal infused oil. In the next article, I will provide detailed directions for making herbal infused oils for the skin.