Gone are the days of beauty products packed with toxic ingredients like petroleum jelly and parabens. Now, more than ever, goods are made entirely from nature’s harvest. Consumers have responded in kind: Grand View Research reports that the global organic beauty market will likely reach 25 billion by 2025.
A large part of the growing appeal is that manufacturers both mammoth and boutique are creating products that brim with healing herbs like clover and cumin. And no wonder: those herbs growing on your window sill—or on display at the farmers’ market—are as beneficial for your outer beauty as they are for your internal health. Here’s a look at seven of the top beauty products derived from the garden:
Think chamomile is just for tea? Think again. Chamomile contains a critical compound called alpha-bisabolol, which has been shown to decrease fine lines and wrinkles by fast-tracking skin’s healing process. The venerated brand, Kiss My Face, blends chamomile with olive oil to create an all-natural soap that boosts hydration and radiance.
Stress can wreak havoc not only on your relationships and physical health but also on your appearance, leading to everything from under-eye bags to acne and thinning hair. If beauty comes from within—as it truly does—then help manage the chaos by incorporating more lavender into your world. Known for its lovely, calming scent, lavender not only soothes the soul but also boasts compounds that can shield your skin from environmental toxins.
One sage way to reap lavender’s benefits is with a good, creamy lotion. Avalon Organics makes an especially solid one that includes aloe, plant lipids and beta-glucan. It glides on smoothly and nourishes deeply, giving you revived skin—and a restored spirit.
3. Green tea
Green tea claims a host of potential health benefits, from assistance with burning fat to naturally bolstering energy. Its popularity—now and in ancient times—is due in part to its ability to guard cells against oxidative stress. In other words? Green tea may encourage a more youthful appearance by defending your skin against free radicals. This translates beautifully to a wide range of skincare products, including green tea-infused sunscreens, balms and green tea patches for reducing under-eye puffiness and creams for soothing redness. Look for products that use matcha green tea: The extra boost from caffeine may take your skin from sleepy to vibrant.
Turmeric has become the superstar of herbs in recent years, as more and more reports have rolled in demonstrating its vast and varied benefits. This boils down to turmeric’s inclusion of a key compound called curcumin—a flavonoid that has shown promise for its healing abilities. Due to the fact that it’s rich in antioxidants, it’s only natural that products now abound featuring turmeric as one of its foremost ingredients. Why, exactly? Dewier skin and support with fading scars, to name just two of the reasons.
Take advantage of its therapeutic possibilities with Andalou Naturals Turmeric + C Enlighten Serum. Utilizing fruit stem cell science, this hypoallergenic facial serum contains a swell combination of turmeric, Vitamin C, and “skin-friendly” magnesium ascorbyl phosphate to target over-exposed surface cells for a tauter, more luminous complexion.
5. Witch hazel
This tried and true botanical remedy—which hails from the leaves, twigs, and bark of the North American Witch Hazel shrub—may be a boon for anyone who suffers from adult acne: Its properties help absorb excess oil while simultaneously hydrating your skin. What’s more, it can help with itching, insect bites, and even varicose veins. Take it from New York dermatologist, Robyn Gmyrek, who says that witch hazel’s tannins—a class of astringent molecules—“are thought to be effective when applied directly to the skin to reduce swelling, help repair broken skin, and fight bacteria.” This organic witch hazel is especially great for finding skin relief after shaving.
Your hair can be, well, coming up roses by using products that showcase this perfumed petal. Prized throughout history as an herbal remedy, this mainstay of romantic bouquets contains “anti-inflammatory and antiseptic healing properties,” says Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Ava Shamban, which can turn scaly skin smooth and brittle hair lustrous. (Side note: Rose is also known for its wound-healing capabilities.) This deep-conditioning rose mask calls upon rose’s healing properties to give you a head of well-nourished hair; it also utilizes pomegranate oils to protect your strands from split-ends.
7. Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba has served as a cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 5,000 years. For good cause, too: This herb, which is rich in flavonoids and terpenoids, promotes blood flow throughout the body and strengthens blood vessel walls. Additionally, studies show that ginkgo biloba possesses antioxidant compounds that can shelter you from environmental toxins; it further acts as a natural, gentle cleanser. Those in the beauty industry have been finding ways to take advantage of its potential to halt the signs of aging by infusing it in their products. Get a taste of its power—literally—with Desert Essence's Lip Rescue. Here, shea butter is blended with ginkgo biloba to give you smooth, soft, and kissable lips. Nature’s bounty just keeps on giving, doesn’t it?