“Botanical skin care”. Wondering what that means?
It means skin care that is based on one or more botanical ingredients. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll recognize every ingredient in the list, since some ingredients have both common names and chemical names. For example, if you notice one of your products has Tocopherol in it, don’t throw it out! Tocopherol is another name for Vitamin E .
In the last 10 or 15 years (or longer), Americans have been discovering the benefits of botanical ingredients in their skin care regimen. I’m not sure why it took us so long to figure it out, since other cultures have known this for a long long time. Take HA (hyaluronic acid) for example. This occurs naturally throughout the human body, but there are a few starchy root vegetables in Eastern Asia that are also a source of this wonderous chemical. People in Eastern Asia have known for a long time that eating these starchy root vegetables help keep you looking and feeling young, but Westerners have just figured it out in the last decade.
One of the benefits of botanically based skin products is that they are generally gentler on your skin. This is not always the case though, there are some natural products out there that could be used as paint stripper, so be careful of the source. Arsenic, for example, is natural and botanically based, but by far VERY harmful to humans and animals. Another benefit of botanical ingredients is that they are often absorbed better by the body than unnatural chemicals.
Here are some of the botanically based ingredients that are beneficial to the skin:
- Tea Tree Oil: Also known as Melaleuca, Tea Tree Oil has a wide range of benefits. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, and is great to use as an antiseptic or defense against the flu or common cold.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic Acid is touted as a wonder drug because of it’s benefits thoughout the body, including the skin, tendons, joints, muscles, etc. Although it can be injected to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, that’s not for the queasy (like me). Used topically, it can help smooth the skin, making fine lines and wrinkles less visible. Some products like TFF that contain HA, can have amazing short-term results as well as incredible long-term results. Since HA is the “goo” that helps maintain healthy connective tissues in the skin, wrinkles are more prominent when there is a lack of HA.
- Arnica: Arnica is a yellow-flowered perennial that has a long history of herbal healing. it helps reduce inflammation and is a great treatment for bruises, strains and sprains because it accelerates the healing of muscle tissue. It’s also great to use for tired and sore muscles, but should never be used on torn skin.
- Green Tea: Green Tea has an abundance of health benefits. It inhibits cancer and heart disease, but it also has fantastic benefits for the skin. Green Tea is an anti-oxident, which go after the free radicals that can damage the skin, as well as other organs. Although you can improve your overall health by drinking green tea, you can help your skin by applying it topically as well.
- Retinol: Thought Retinol was a chemical made in a lab didn’t you? So did I years ago. It’s actually a form of Vitamin A! It’s very important in the process of skin rejuvenation, so it plays a vital role in the anti-aging skin care regimen. It also helps reduce acne and large pores.
So, you can see the benefits of using botanical ingredients in daily skin care, but don’t stop there. Healthy eating helps contribute to healthy skin as well. Just like mom always taught us: drink lots of water, and eat fruits and vegetables. When you make a few small changes in your eating habits, as well as in your skin care regimen, you’ll be amazed at the difference on your face!
Disclaimer: This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own. I don’t pretend to be a doctor, nor did I pay the 100’s of thousands of dollars to become one. Please do your own research when changing your skin care regimen or eating habits. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry, but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (abusive, profane, rude, or anonymous comments) – so keep it polite, please 🙂