While there are now countless non-plant-based products to choose from, many which are safe and effective, don’t go thinking that herbs have lost their lustre.
These are a few herbs for beauty and recommendations for how to use them.
Sunflower seed oil for dry skin
Sunflower seed oil helps your skin maintain its natural barrier function. You can make your own amazing moisturiser by filling a jar three quarters of the way full with calendula flowers (also known as pot marigolds) and covering them with organic sunflower seed oil. Let the jar sit for two weeks, shaking it daily. Strain the flowers out and measure the liquid. For each cup, add half to one teaspoon of your favourite scented essential oil. The moisturiser can be used in the bathtub or directly on the skin after bathing.
Rosa roxburghii for dark spots
This beautiful, flowering bush’s fruit is rich in vitamins A, C, and E and essential fatty acids that help soothe irritation and inflammation that contributes to hyper-pigmentation. It can be found in a number of popular skin care lines, often in combination with liquorice, which also has good evidence for naturally lightening dark spots.
Chamomile and calendula flowers are generally used for light-coloured hair. To make a hair rinse, simply add one cup of herbs to four cups of water for 20 minutes then strain into a jar. You can add an essential oil if you like, such as five to 10 drops of lavender or rosemary for instance, along with two teaspoons of baking soda. Shake well and allow to cool. In the shower or bath, pour it over your hair and gently massage it into your scalp. Leave it on for about five minutes and then rinse. Try doing this once a week.
Green tea, tea tree oil and lemongrass oil for acne
A simple toner can be made at home that is both inexpensive and highly effective. Bring 175ml of water to boil, turn off heat, and add three organic green tea teabags and keep covered for 20 minutes. Remove teabags and add 30ml of organic apple cider vinegar and half a teaspoon of tea tree oil or lemongrass oil. Refrigerate for seven to 10 days. Apply a bit to the neck to make sure you don’t have any sensitivity, then use morning and night after washing your face. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which acts as a natural exfoliant for the skin, removing dead skin cells and dissolving the oil that can clog pores. Green tea improves acne by decreasing sebum production, and tea tree oil reduces inflammation.