8 Organic Skin Care Ingredients You Need To Heal Inflammation

Aloe Vera – Chamomile – Calendula Flower – Echinacea

Marshmallow Root – Oat Extracts – Sage Leaf – Witch Hazel

Inflammation is a very common skin condition. It develops as a response to a harmful bacterial invasion or sensitivity to a skin care product.  It is your body’s natural defense mechanism.  Adding these 8 medicinal plants into your skin care masks, serums and facials can help heal this complex skin condition.

The basic symptoms of inflammation of the skin 

redness  swelling  itching  heat  pain

Fortunately, there was research done by a group of scientists from the Department of Medicinal and Cosmetics Natural Products at Poznan University of Medical Sciences in 2013.  They tested more 8 medicinal plants for their anti-inflammatory activity and therapeutic effects on the skin and reported how we can use them in skin care and professional facial treatments.

Aloe Vera:  Fresh Aloe Vera Gel significantly reduced acute inflammation, although no effect on chronic inflammation was observed. Aloe Vera Gel is used for external treatment of minor wounds and inflammatory skin disorders, minor skin irritations including burns, bruises, and abrasions. The use of freshly prepared gel is recommended because of its sensitivity to enzymatic, oxidative or microbial degradation. Rare cases of contact allergy have been reported.

Chamomile: In the pharmacological study in humans, ointment containing chamomile extract was more effective than 0.1% hydrocortisone (anti-inflammatory synthetic drug) in reduced chemically-induced toxic dermatitis. Creams containing chamomile extract reduced UV-induced erythema (sunburn), eczema and inflammatory dermatoses proving to be superior to hydrocortisone creams.  Chamomile flower is externally used for skin inflammations and irritations, bacterial skin diseases, nappy rash and cradle cap, eczema, wounds (infected and poorly healing), abscesses, frostbite, and insect bites.

Calendula Flowers:  Active ingredients of the calendula flower are triterpene saponins (oleanolic acid glycosides), triterpene alcohols (α-, β-amyrins, faradiol), and flavonoids (quercetin and isorhamnetin).  The activity of this extract (at high concentration) and faradiol was comparable to that of indometacin (anti-inflammatory synthetic drug).  Calendula flower is used for compresses in poorly healing wounds, bruises, rashes, boils and dermatitis. Application in children under 6 years of age is not recommended.

Echinacea:  A traditional, herbal, medicinal product applied for treatment of small superficial wounds and inflammation of the skin. Externally, expressed juice or dried expressed juice is used. Hypersensitive reactions (local rash, contact dermatitis, eczema and angioedema of the lips) are possible, and allergic reactions may occur in patients with atopic diseases. The use of this medicinal product for more than 8 weeks and in children below 12 years of age is not recommended.

Marshmallow Root:  An ointment containing an aqueous marshmallow root extract (20%) reduced irritation induced by UV radiation (sun exposure). The anti-inflammatory effect was weaker than that of an ointment containing dexamethasone 0.05% (anti-inflammatory synthetic drug), but an ointment containing both active ingredients has higher anti-inflammatory activity than ointments containing individual active ingredients. Marshmallow root is externally used for furunculosis, eczema and dermatitis.

Oat Extracts: A colloidal extract of Oats showed anti-inflammatory activity. A colloidal extract of oats stimulated production of the anti-inflammatory transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) by keratinocytes (skin cells) and inhibited production of interleukins. In a pharmacological trial, 20 and 30% colloidal extracts of oat (in Petrolatum), under occlusion for 2 h, protected the skin from irritation induced by sodium lauryl sulfate (found in harsh facial cleansers) which caused redness of the skin and increased the cutaneous blood flow. Colloidal oatmeal was applied to 11 patients with rash induced by drugs administered during treatment. Out of 10 patients assessed, 6 showed a complete response and 4 – partial response, with no toxic effects observed

Oat straw contains polysaccharides (β-glucan) and silicon dioxide in a soluble form – as esters of the silicic acid with polyphenols, and monosaccharides and oligosaccharides. In vitro and in vivo, β-glucan stimulates immune functions. Silicon regulates skin and subcutaneous metabolic processes. Oat straw is used for inflammatory and seborrheic skin diseases, especially those accompanied by itching.

Sage Leaf:  Sage leaf has astringent, bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties. Ursolic and rosmarinic acids have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory activity.  Sage leaf is a traditional, herbal medicinal product for relief of minor skin inflammations and bacterial infections of the skin. The use in children and adolescents under 18 years of age and during pregnancy and lactation is not recommended because the available data on possible effects are insufficient.

Witch Hazel Extracts:  Active ingredients of witch hazel bark are tannins – hamamelitannins and proanthocyanidins. Decoctions and infusions of hamamelis bark are used for local inflammation of the skin. The use in children under 12 years of age is not recommended.  The extracts of witch hazel leaf are tannins – proanthocyanidins and small amount of hamamelitannins. In clinical research, creams containing witch hazel leaf extract were effective in treatment of atopic eczema in children, atopic xeroderma and other eczemas. Decoctions of witch hazel leaf are used for compresses or washes in treatment of local inflammations of the skin. The use in children under 6 years of age is not recommended.

Witch Hazel Hydrosol  contains a volatile oil, the major components of which are aliphatic hydrocarbons, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, aliphatic aldehydes and alcohols.  In pharmacological studies in humans, the after sun lotion containing 10% of hamamelis water reduced the UV-B-induced erythema. The lotion containing witch hazel hydrosol suppressed erythema by 20% at 7 h and by 27% at 48 h, whereas the degree of suppression seen with the witch hazel-free lotions was 11% and 15%, respectively.  Reduction symptoms such as desquamation of the skin, redness, itching was shown.  Witch Hazel Hydrosol is used undiluted or diluted 1: 3 with water, for compresses, in treatment of minor inflammations and irritations of the skin such as cuts, grazes, insect bites and burns. Application in children under 6 years of age is not recommended.

I love using all natural and organic medicinal plant in my skin care treatments to heal skin conditions.  Natural skin care scientific research supports positive effects of the medicinal plants.  Now, lets dive into the world of facial care naturally and holistically with confidence.

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