When it comes to your skin do you put your faith in science or in nature?
Do you spend hundreds of euros purchasing fancy high-end, lab-made lotions and potions that the cosmetic houses swear blind will keep you looking youthful and glowing or do you opt for the less-sophisticated unguents and balms rich in plant extracts and marine plasma that care for and comfort your skin?
Either or, there are a zillion and one beauty products out there and just to throw a bit more confusion in the mix, have you ever tried beauty products full of herb-derived ingredients? In this column I will share with you the benefits of using herbal-based products. These are some of my favourite tried-and-tested “herb helpers” – a naturally kinder way to take care of you and the environment!
Let’s start with turmeric, the delicious bright yellow Indian spice that peps up the flavour of your curry sauce and is also a powerful antioxidant that can tackle sun damage and pigmentation of the skin. Clarins have created a Daily Energizer Cream that’s full of tumeric to put a youthful radiance back into your complexion. It helps even out redness and sun freckles, giving the skin an even tone.
Salicylic acid, from the bark of the willow tree and sugar beet, helps unclog blocked pores and keep the skin deeply cleansed and can work wonders combating wrinkles and frown lines.
Boots stocks a refreshing Glycolic Acid Toner (glycolic acid is usually obtained from sugar cane) that brightens the skin and renews and invigorates the complexion.
Liquorice, an extract from the Glycyrrhiza plant, can lighten the skin’s pigmentation. Aveda have created Botanical Kinetics Energizing Eye Cream with Liquorice, which really can help diminish the appearance of dark circles and leave the eye area looking less pallid and much brighter.
Borage seed oil is a super powerful antioxidant and ideal for recharging older skin. It works a treat if you suffer from eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and rosacea. If your skin feels permanently dried out and parched, borage oil could be your saviour. Dr Hauschka Soothing Day Lotion is a brilliant product. Korres Borage Men’s Cream targets fine lines and wrinkles and after a few weeks of use you will see a much clearer complexion.
Rosemary not only tastes delicious with roast lamb but its astringent properties are great to help combat really oily skin and it can boost the collagen and firmness. If you suffer from a shiny, rosy complexion then why not try out REN Ever Calm Anti-Redness Serum, which contains rosemary and a whole host of soothing healing herbs. REN Ever Calm Sensitive Mask is a combo of Arnica flower and Mushroom, which will eradicate roughness and hydrate the skin.
If I’m feeling bloated and/or having a skin breakout I drink a morning cup of hot water with squeezed lemon and some grated ginger. Ginger is a natural, calming anti-inflammatory herb. If you suffer from cracked dry hands the Origins Ginger Hand Lotion is a non-greasy lotion that heals and hydrates. Ginger can help if you have nausea and menstrual cramps. I simply grate fresh ginger into hot water and add a herbal tea bag. Slices of ginger rubbed directly onto a dried scar will help reduce its appearance. Use twice daily for three weeks. Rub on the area for about two minutes at a time.