When it comes to the science of skincare, plants have it all figured out. Many of them contain protective antioxidants, age-reversing sterols and other rejuvenating ingredients all in one powerful package. Cosmetic chemists would have to work hard to replicate all the magic that one simple plant extract has to offer. We say, if you want the best of the best, why not just go to the source — Mother Nature?
The problem is, some people don’t know which active botanicals to look for. An active botanical is another name for a plant that produces a lot of rejuvenating activity below the skin’s surface. The extracts of these plants contain a lot of important nutrients, anti-inflammatory perks and restorative properties. In fact, the beauty industry is increasingly turning to active botanicals as a source of skincare inspiration.
If you’re a natural skincare newbie, here are five active botanicals that deserve your attention and a high-priority place on your bathroom vanity.
Jojoba Oil: Acne Fighter and Deep Moisturizer
People with acne-prone or oily skin don't need to avoid oils, but they do need to be a bit pickier about which oils they choose. You’ve heard the phrase non-comedogenic, which means that a product or ingredient is non-pore clogging. As a non-comedogenic yet hydrating oil, jojoba is one of the most pore-friendly oils out there. Plus, it contains a load of other skin-healthy benefits. Here is jojoba’s impressive beauty resume:
- Won’t aggravate acne: Jojoba oil’s antibacterial nature means it can clear away acne-causing bacteria without stripping the skin. It possesses similar properties to our skin's own sebum and can rebalance our natural oil production.
- Locks in hydration: This moisturizer possesses vitamins A, E and D, plus antioxidants and fatty acids. It also can reach deep below the top layer of skin for maximum hydration.
- Anti-inflammatory: Jojoba oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which is especially helpful for those with uncomfortable bumps, as well as inflammatory conditions like eczema.
Turn Up the Light With Turmeric Oil
Turmeric (and its active ingredient, curcumin) is a power player in the wellness world. Best known as the yellow spice used in cooking, turmeric has been used as a healing agent in ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. In the modern age, research has revealed turmeric to be a robust anti-inflammatory that may help lessen the symptoms of arthritis and may hold the potential to prevent more serious conditions like heart disease and cancer.
Turmeric essential oil is derived from the same powerful plant as the flavorful spice and holds equally impressive benefits for the skin. Although not as well known as other botanical oils like jojoba, turmeric oil is rich in vitamins, phenols and alkaloids, as well as antioxidant properties that can help guard the skin from age-accelerating free-radical damage. With turmeric oil’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and skin-nourishing compounds working together, you can experience a brighter, more balanced complexion.
Rosehip Seed Oil Renews and Protects
Rosehip seed oil is extracted from small bright-red berry-like seed pods of two types of wild roses. The oil boasts a vibrant red-orange color and a lot of skin-transforming qualities:
- Improves the skin barrier: Rosehip seed oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid that helps maintain the strength of the skin's protective barrier, which is responsible for holding on to moisture, protecting the skin from damage and keeping impurities out.
- Brightens tone: The oil contains brightening antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A, which are known to help your skin radiate a healthy glow.
- Supports collagen: Rosehip seed oil’s vitamin C content can aid in the process of collagen synthesis, as well as maintain the collagen you already have.
- Protects skin from free radical damage: Free radicals (damage-causing particles produced by things like smoke and pesticides) and oxidative stress are two of the main culprits behind premature aging. Rosehip seed oil contains the antioxidants that protect against these threats and keep your skin looking healthy.
Best All Around: Geranium Oil
Used by ancient Egyptians for promoting lovely skin, geranium oil is the perfect beauty balm for a wide range of skin types, but especially for combination complexions or those with dull, inflamed and dry skin. Since it’s considered antibacterial, non-irritating and generally non-sensitizing, geranium oil works on all skin types to calm irritation and inflammation, while quenching skin cells with non-pore clogging hydration. It also has a wide range of other benefits like helping to regulate oil production, repair sun damage, reduce acne breakouts, increase elasticity and bring skin back into balance (if it’s too dry or too oily). It’s a superb “all around” oil for combination skin and for those who are starting to see visible signs of aging.
Raspberry Seed Oil Quenches Skin With Next-Level Nutrients
Cold-pressed raspberry seeds produce an oil that’s abundant in skin-quenching vitamins and nutrients. They include vitamins A, C and E, as well as essential fatty acids like linoleic, alpha-linolenic and oleic acids. These essential fatty acids are the foundation of healthy cells. By helping to maintain and preserve the skin's natural oil barrier, fatty acids can keep skin looking hydrated, full and more youthful. Applying plant oils that contain high amounts of essential fatty acids — like raspberry seed oil — is a good way to help the skin’s moisture barrier function properly and prevent precious water loss as you age.
Improve Your Anti-Aging Game With Botanicals
If you're new to botanical beauty and want to improve your anti-aging game, the skin-friendly ingredients in this article are the perfect starting point. These five botanicals prove that natural ingredients can be just as effective as lab creations. As always, do a patch test before slathering on any new ingredient or skincare product. Once you’ve found a solution that works, be consistent. A regular, daily routine is the best way to experience the impressive results that these natural wonders have to offer.