The benefits of St. John’s Wort are largely unappreciated in the natural skincare world. But this botanical, often considered a ‘weed’, has the extraordinary ability to calm skin inflammation and is very effective for the sensitive skin.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), is a flowering herb that grows in wild areas of temperate regions. It has profuse bright yellow flowers and stalkless leaves whose excellent therapeutic properties supports and soothes the skin in many ways.
Traditionally, the medicinal and the restorative aspects of this herb have been recorded by herbalists since the time of Hippocrates. The ancient Greeks used it to heal wounds and burns. More recently, studies show that the extracts of this herb contain high doses of antioxidants which are very effective in relieving inflammation and healing the skin. There is strong scientific support proving that that the oil of St. John’s Wort is effective in stress reduction and relief from depression.
Therapeutic Facts of St. John’s Wort
‘Hypericin’ and ‘Hyperforin’ are two of the main active agents in St. John’s Wort that provide the greatest benefits in skincare therapies. Other beneficial compounds include flavonoids like rutin, quercetin, kaempferol¸biflavones and a myriad of antioxidants.
It also contains small amounts of carotenoids, choline and pectin. Some amino acids like cysteine, glutamine, lysine and GABA (gamma- butyric acid) can also be extracted from the herb.
Skincare Benefits of St. John’s Wort
The fresh flowers of St. John’s Wort are crushed to release reddish-purple colored oil. The oil readily infuses in oils, serums and moisturizers. Here are the most effective natural skincare benefits of St. John’s Wort:
1. Treats Eczema (or Atopic dermatitis)
The antibacterial properties of St. John’s Wort have been medically proven to ease itching and redness in people suffering from eczema. The anti-inflammatory fatty acids and hyperforin in the herb also promotes the growth of new skin cells.
2. Reduces Sunburn
St. John’s Wort deeply nourishes and heals sunburned skin, due to the calming ability of the herb which reduces swelling and redness after long periods of sun exposure.
However, note that St. John’s Wort can cause sensitivity towards direct sunlight. You should choose a St. John’s Wort infused organic broad spectrum sunscreen with the correct ratio of hypericin (3:5%)
3. Protects against harmful UV rays
Hypericin and Carotenoids in St. John’s Wort protect skin from harmful UV rays. In fact, Hypericin has been shown to act as a ‘photodynamic agent’ to prevent skin cancer. Hyperforin in St. John’s Wort stimulates growth and differentiation of keratonicytes (the most common type of skin cells) which slows down photoaging of the skin.
4. Soothes Rosacea & Psoriasis
Rosacea causes redness of the skin which may progress and become more intense over time. St. John’s Wort interacts with the affected skin cells and calms inflamed blood vessels underneath the skin.
Though St. John’s Wort isn’t directly effective in reducing psoriasis scaling, it can reduce the appearance of inflammation and red patches. St. John’s Wort can be added to a sensitive skin friendly serum, supplementing other nutritious and moisture enriching herbs to produce an anti-inflammatory effect.
5. Reduces Acne Inflammation
Hyperforin in St. John’s Wort inhibits the growth of acne causing bacteria by reducing the hyperactivity of T-cells. Since acne can also be related to stress, the herb balances and calms both the skin and the mind, which works synergistically to reduce acne inflammation.
If you’re looking for a Sensitive Skin Treatment that truly produces long-lasting results, look for a formula that contains 100% natural and calming ingredients. There should be absolutely no toxic elements in the ingredient list in order to promote naturally healthier skin.
Go green and organic with natural skincare from Puraveda Organics!