Anti-inflammatory Skin Active Botanicals and their essential oils are the basics of alternative therapy and have been for centuries to treat skin conditions like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, dandruff, itchiness, eczema, and to help balance hormones and reduce over-production of oil. Read on to discover the most effective anti inflammatory botanicals for the skin which have clinically-proven statistics showing their healing benefits:
Why should we use anti-inflammatory Botanical Skin Actives?
Inflammation is our body’s natural defense system for fighting infections, healing wounds and other types of injury, such as sprains and ligament tears. However, in abnormal conditions, the inflammations itself can be harmful and result into tissue damage. Common inflammatory skin conditions include dermatitis, skin redness and rashes, psoriasis, eczema, dandruff, and sudden outbreaks of acne and triggered due to allergens, extreme temperatures and stress.
Skin inflammation can be treated quite effectively with anti inflammatory botanical extracts and oils, especially when the right Natural Skin Active therapy is used at the correct time. By eliminating the need for Big Pharma Synthesized Drugs (that should only be used under a doctor’s Rx) these science-backed best anti-inflammatory Skin Caring Botanicals can calm and ease vata / kapha / pitta skin imbalances safely:
1. Licorice root
Licorice root is widely used as a flavoring agent, but it is also one of the best anti inflammatory Botanical Skin Actives for treating several sensitive skin conditions. Licorice root contains the natural active ingredient called ‘glabridin’, which acts in a similsar fashion to hydroquinone and helps remove excessive melanin levels, which contribute to unsightly hyperpigmentation and melasma. Licorice contains flavonoids and licochalcone-A which act in an antioxidant manner, inhibiting marker genes that trigger inflammatory response. In Ayurvedic botanical therapy for skin, Licorice root is used to treat dandruff and eczema. Licorice is also used in high end Organic Sunscreens to treat sunburn, hyperpigmentation and sun spots.
Main Benefits: Evening skin tone, including fading melasma, healing skin irritations and even decreasing eczema.
2. White Willow Bark
It is the inner layer of White Willow Bark that is utilized and rendered into a steam distilled extract and is then used in organic beauty products providing superior anti-inflammatory results. White willow bark contains ‘salicin’ from which salicylic acid is derived. Salicylic acid is a BHA and a natural acne treatment, and as you may know is actually where the common drug aspirin was derived.
White Willow Bark contains high amounts of tannins, flavonoids, phenolic acid and minerals that assist with cell regeneration, provides gentle exfoliation and leaves you with a refreshed and glowing complexion. Polyphenols in Willow have high antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which reduce acne and provides relief from skin conditions like eczema, atopic dermatitis, dandruff, rosacea and psoriasis.
Tannins in White Willow Bark are frequently used in Organic Toners to control excessive oil (sebum) production and tighten pores, making them appear far less obvious.
Main Benefits: Diminishes acne and skin redness, balances oily skin, and heals dandruff/overproduction of scalp sebum.
3. German Chamomile
German Chamomile is a very well documented anti-inflammatory botanical skin active and contains more than 120 natural compounds, including terpenoids and flavonoids all of which contribute to its therapeutic properties. Among these, apigenin, quercetin and bisabolol are three of the most promising compounds found in German Chamomile. These volatile compounds penetrate deep into the skin, and ease skin rashes and scarring. Chamomile diminishes acne and post-acne redness. Its regenerative properties helps your skin feel healthier/younger and far more moisture balanced.
Main Benefits: Treats acne and blemishes, heals scars, anti-aging.
4. Green Tea
The link between Green tea and a great skin has been acknowledged by science for years. Green tea has antioxidants and soothing properties that show good results in terms of anti-aging and UV/Sun Protection benefits. Rich in an antioxidant known as EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), Green Tea extract detoxifies the skin. The catechins in Green Tea are also very helpful in reducing redness, irritation and swelling. Its antibacterial action treats acne and unblocks pores for smoother, more toned skin. Vitamin B2 and B5 in Green Tea maintain and increase collagen levels for firmness and a more youthful skin structure.
Main Benefits: Heals sun burns, soothes skin redness and eye puffiness, anti-aging.
Frankincense (also known as ‘liquid gold for the skin’) is one of the best known natural astringents. When used in our PVO formula’s On the Spot Blemish Treatment, Frankincense purifies cells, thus helping clear blemishes, and as a side benefit, also tightens age-related enlarged pores. Natural chemicals like Limonene and Pinene in Frankincense stimulate blood flow to promote faster healing of acne scars, and naturally slows the signs of aging.
Main Benefits: Overnight acne treatment, tighten pores, heal scars, anti-aging.
When used in the right concentration, the essential oil of rosemary soothes inflammation, increases blood circulation and refreshes the skin. Good circulation not only ensures a rosier and fresh look to your skin, but it also helps clear acne. Rosemary essential oil neutralizes and removes toxins from the site of infection, replacing them with oxygenated and nutrient rich blood to promote synthesis of new tissue. Rosemary is great for oily skin, by helping to lighten dark spots, post-acne scarring and blemishes, resulting in an improved overall complexion.
Main Benefits: Treats acne and blemishes, reduces dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
7. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is probably the most time-tested plant in the world! Aloe Vera gel soothes sunburn and provides fast relief from small skin woes. It also alleviates dryness and itchiness, which are often associated with sensitive skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea. Being rich in natural compounds with superior antioxidants abilities. Aloe Vera Extract exhibits serious levels of anti-bacterial activity. Aloe also greatly assists in the formation of new skin cells and promotes tissue healing.
Main Benefits: Soothes sunburn, calms sensitive skin conditions (rosacea, eczema, psoriasis), treats acne, heals scars.
8. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is a promising herbal remedy with antimocrobial, anti-inflammatory and astringent effects. Its main ingredient in ‘hypericin’ which has been recognized as an activator of keratinocyte (the major skin cell type in the epidermis) differentiation. St. John’s Wort is a must-have ingredient in a sensitive skin care regime as it is superior at healing and repairing skin without side effects. By regulating dermal hormones and over-production of sebum – all of which plays a vital role in preventing acne… St. John’s Wort is helpful in Acne Control and can also reduce the appearance of post-acne scars.
Main Benefits: Calms sensitive skin, regulates sebum, prevents acne.
Rich in Vitamin A and C, Minerals, fats like Linoleic acid and Oleic acid, Amino acids, Polyphenols and Carotenoids, Stinging Nettle is a staple botanical remedy to help ease inflammation.
Note: Beware that inaccurate concentrations or unprocessed Nettle in anti inflammatory skin care products can cause hypersensitivity. Always do a patch-test before you try using any new product.
Polyphenols, like quercetin and caffeic acid in nettle reduce levels of multiple-inflammatory hormones, and provides relief from pain as well as being very helpful in treating chronic acne and eczema.
Main Benefits: Eases the symptoms of acne, eczema and other sensitive skin conditions.
Read Next: ‘9 Do’s and Don’ts of Sensitive Skin Care’