For centuries, herbs have been used to treat everything from anxiety to sunburn. Many exert healing properties simply via their aromatherapy, but when used topically, they can also deliver amazing results. Below are a few of the most commonly used herbs, plants, and oils.
Aloe vera's healing properties have been known for thousands of years. Traditionally used to heal cuts, wounds, sunburns, and scars, it can also help moisturize the skin.
Almond oil is a favorite of many massage practitioners, as it lubricates the skin without clogging pores or causing reactions. As a skincare ingredient, it's thought to be a mild yet potent moisturizer.
Chamomile is well-known for its calming properties when used in teas. Manufacturers add them to products as the essential oils and flavonoids contained in chamomile are thought to exert anti-inflammatory effects when used topically.
Ginger is added to skincare products for a number of different benefits. It contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic components, as well as gingerol, a powerful antioxidant. Lastly, ginger's stimulating properties are thought by manufacturers to help increase circulation.
Jojoba oil closely resembles our skin's own sebum, and therefore is a very effective moisturizing agent in skincare products.
Lavender oil is recognizable by its calming scent, but its benefits also stem from antifungal and antibacterial properties. In skincare products, it is thought by manufacturers to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Peppermint in the form of tea and other preparations is used internally to calm the body and mind. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which can have a cooling and nourishing affect on the skin when applied externally.
Green tea's medicinal properties are attributed to flavonoid phytochemicals called polyphenols, which exert an antioxidant effect. A number of encouraging studies suggest that green tea applied topically may help protect against sun damage as well as ease inflammation.
Sea buckthorn oil comes from the yellow berries of a shrub native to the Himalayas and Siberia. Applied topically, its high content of fat-soluble vitamins A and E, as well fatty acids, are thought by manufactures to provide nourishing and healing properties.
Sea algae and kelp are rich in minerals and other nutrients that help to nourish the skin. Similar to their effects inside the body, sea vegetables are believed by manufacturers to help remove toxins when used topically.
Tea tree oil is best known for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.