3 Tried & True Plant-Based Health and Beauty Ingredients

Body care products derived from plants are becoming popular alternatives to chemical or petroleum-based products. Many plant products are effective at treating a variety of complaints or providing preventative, comforting care. While new fruit, nut, and vegetable compounds are constantly being discovered and their benefits touted, some plants are already widely regarded for their place in health and beauty routines. The following plant products are wonderful, trusted options for natural skin and body care.

Recommended Skin Treatments
Jan Marini Clean Zyme Face Cleanser | Jan Marini Skin Zyme Mask | Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant SPF 33

Aloe Vera

The soothing and healing powers of aloe vera are recognized across the board. Natural and alternative medicine, as well as modern medicine, use aloe in preparations and prescriptions meant to soothe irritated, angry skin. Many high quality skincare lines use aloe as a main ingredient in moisturizers and cleansers because of its ability to maintain skin's ideal pH. Aloe's power to comfort burned skin is nearly unrivaled and some recent studies indicate that cleansers containing aloe treat psoriasis and dandruff as effectively as a medicated shampoo.

To benefit fully from aloe vera, it is essential to use the highest quality and purest forms possible. Growing an aloe plant at home is an excellent way to have access to the healing properties of fresh aloe juice at any time. To soothe burned or irritated skin, use clean shears or scissors to cut about an inch of an aloe leaf from the plant and apply its viscous juice directly to the skin or combine it with your favorite moisturizer.

When purchasing aloe-based products, be sure to check the ingredients list on the container. The fewer ingredients, the better; many products advertise aloe vera as an ingredient but actually contain very little aloe. Special care should be taken to avoid products with petroleum and paraben ingredients that interfere with its effectiveness and irritate sensitive skin. It is also advisable to choose an aloe product without added perfumes, dyes, and fragrances that could irritate skin even further. Ideally, the only ingredient should be aloe juice or gel; if the product is pure, a small amount will effectively soothe skin.

Body care products derived from plants are becoming popular alternatives to chemical or petroleum-based products. Many plant products are effective at treating a variety of complaints or providing preventative, comforting care. While new fruit, nut, and vegetable compounds are constantly being discovered and their benefits touted, some plants are already widely regarded for their place in health and beauty routines. The following plant products are wonderful, trusted options for natural skin and body care. 

Recommended Skin Care
Jan Marini Antioxidant DFP Sunkissed Neutral | Obagi 360 HydraFactor SPF 30 | Obagi Professional-C Peptide Complex Serum

Tried & True #2: Shea Butter

The butter of the Shea nut is a spectacular moisturizer and skin soother. Shea butter is readily absorbed by skin, especially after a bath or shower, and tends not to irritate sensitive or troubled skin. Shea butter increases skin's elasticity and suppleness by supporting and rejuvenating collagen - an important factor in maintaining youthful skin. It has also been implicated in reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Along with moisturizing and anti-aging, Shea butter's anti-inflammatory properties assist in calming skin conditions like eczema, allergic irritation and minor scrapes and cuts.

Solid at room temperature, Shea butter warms up when rubbed into the skin and can be applied straight to the body, face, hair and scalp. It also makes a nourishing component in homemade lotions and lip balms. When purchasing Shea butter or any product containing it, it is important to look for raw, unrefined, and organic Shea if possible. Processing and heating destroy many of the most beneficial elements such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and essential fatty acids.

Body care products derived from plants are becoming popular alternatives to chemical or petroleum-based products. Many plant products are effective at treating a variety of complaints or providing preventative, comforting care. While new fruit, nut, and vegetable compounds are constantly being discovered and their benefits touted, some plants are already widely regarded for their place in health and beauty routines. The following is the third plant product on our list known to be a wonderful, trusted option for natural skin and body care.

Recommended Skin Treatments
Jan Marini Clean Zyme Face Cleanser | Jan Marini Skin Zyme Mask | Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant SPF 33

Tea Tree Oil

Pungent and spicy, tea tree oil has been a part of skin and body care routines for a very long time. The oil is extracted from the leaves of the tea tree and is a potent antibacterial and antifungal substance.

Because of its power to kill bacteria, tea tree oil is used in many acne products, both commercially prepared and homemade. It has been found to be as effective as ingredients like benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of moderate acne and is usually less irritating to sensitive facial skin. Tea tree oil's effectiveness against bacteria is being examined in the search for treatment of antibiotic resistant strains of staph infection. The antifungal power of tea tree oil is also important in the treatment of fungal infections like thrush and athlete's foot.

When using tea tree oil, it is essential to consider its potency. For use on the face, it is usually necessary to dilute with a carrier oil like jojoba, olive or sunflower seed oil. However, many products designed for facial application are already diluted to avoid causing irritation--check the product ingredient label to be sure. Pure tea tree oil is also available for a variety of uses such as sprinkling in the bath or making homemade household cleaning sprays. As with any plant-derived ingredient, consider the source of the tea tree oil, avoid undesirable added ingredients and look for organically grown products.

photo credit: wbeem via photopin cc


January 16, 2015 by Amanda Brown
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