Herbal skin care produced by a professional who’s formally trained in herbal medicines, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic, etc., is based on the use of the inherent wisdom and power of plants. In true herbal skin care, herbal plants are used in combinations to enhance and balance their healing effects on the skin. Herbal products can be prepared through a number of methods. The most common methods include preparation of infusion (by boiling herbs in water), the addition of plant extract (for example, a tea) or oil (such as cocoa butter). It is important to note that herbal products that contain synthetic ingredients should be avoided, as they are generally inefficient and potentially dangerous.
Herbal Treatment Products
Many individuals have started relying on herbal treatment products for their skin, as natural ingredients have shown to be safe and effective. Herbal products are also known to have fewer side effects than artificial cosmetic drugs. As an example, there have been no reported cases of allergic reactions in patients using pure Chinese herbal products, including preparations containing ginseng, carrot, dandelion root, alfalfa, burdock root, ginkgo biloba, or chamomile. Similarly, studies reveal that herbal skin ingredients like red clover, milk thistle, sarsaparilla, and comfrey have minimal impact on skin discoloration, dryness, itching, flaking, or rashes. Furthermore, herbal treatment products are not likely to cause skin cancer.
Several Major Herbs
Several major herbs used in herbal skin care therapy include linalool, lavender, geranium, and jasmine. Commonly included in topical creams, lotions, and soaps, these plants have been found to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and sedative effects. Linalool produces a cooling effect that eases swelling and redness, while lavender has a soothing effect and helps alleviate stress. Together, these two plants have been found to produce anti-wrinkle effects comparable to commercial products.
Jasmine is another popular herb with proven skin care effects. Its scent is often associated with the spice market, but jasmine’s healing properties have been known since ancient times. A tea made from the flowers of this plant is often recommended for a variety of skin conditions, including sunburn, dandruff, acne, diaper rash, warts, cuts, and minor wounds. Popular brand products include Jasmine Oil For Women by Garden of Life and Jasmine Scrub by Organic Skincare. Some experts believe that jasmine oil for skincare products may help treat acne.
Synthetic Skincare Products
Synthetic skincare products are full of chemicals, preservatives, and other ingredients that may cause harm to the skin. The synthetic versions may also contain alcohols, which can change the pH of the skin and may worsen certain conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. Some of the products that use herbal extracts in their ingredients contain small amounts of alcohol. However, most expert opinion indicates that there are no disadvantages when using herbal products rather than synthetic ones.
In some parts of the world, particularly Africa and Asia, using plants for medicinal purposes are not the norm. Herbal extracts are seen as taboo. In an effort to maintain their way of life, these communities have adopted practices such as washing their hands regularly with water from boiling water collected from rocks, or using pouches made of herbs to absorb the sweat of other people. Despite these practices, however, herbal skin care products continue to be very popular throughout the world.
There are many advantages to using herbs for skin care. Not only are they less expensive than many commercial products, but many are actually free of side effects. Many of the chemicals found in commercial products can actually harm both the body and skin, so they are better used in herbal preparations. For example, commercially produced creams and lotions often contain alcohol, which can dry out the skin and cause flaking and itching, both of which can be alleviated by using herbal preparations.
Herbal Skin Creams
Herbal skin creams are also easier to prepare and use than their synthetic counterparts. For example, many contain all natural ingredients such as botanical oils, herbs, vitamins, and minerals. Synthetic products are designed to be mass-produced, but they do not usually come from plants themselves. It can be hard to tell which products are made entirely from natural ingredients and which are not. Some manufacturers try to pass off their synthetic products as being herbal, but in truth they are just trying to save money.