Holly Bartter explains why these four natural ingredients should be on hand in all households
When we’re shopping for skincare, the ingredients list can be a mine or a maze of information, and when you’re browsing products boasting lots of natural ingredients, it can be tricky to know which ones will benefit your skin the most.
To keep your visit to the skincare aisles streamlined, here’s a summary of our favourite ingredients from nature that will boost and soothe your complexion.
Aloe vera is a plant extract with some serious benefits. We might associate it with being just a sunburn-soother, but aloe vera has lots more to offer. Great for irritated skin, aloe vera has high water content and won’t feel occlusive on your face. It’s the perfect moisturiser ingredient to look out for if you’ve got oily skin, offering hydration without the heaviness.
A bonus for aloe vera is that you can even use this ingredient in its most pure form straight from the leaves. This is an excellent option for short-term use, and if you’ve ever invested in an at-home microcurrent skin care tool (that are becoming increasingly popular), you can even use fresh aloe vera gel as a conducting agent.
Have you ever taken a bath with oatmeal in it to calm itchy skin? Colloidal oatmeal is the result of oats being ground down to a fine powder and then boiled to create the perfect remedy for stressed skin.
Oats contain a powerful antioxidant called avenanthramides, combined with the water-binding starches which will keep skin protected when applied.
A colloidal oatmeal mask is perfect for times when you’ve been heavy-handed with active skin ingredients, or if you’re suffering from a tight or stinging face.
Chamomile is truly an antioxidant powerhouse, and if you’ve sipped on a calming chamomile tea, you’ll be enjoying a cup of these.
In terms of your skin, these antioxidants bolster and soothe, and it’s worthwhile to look out for chamomile in your moisturiser or sun protection, as antioxidants will best serve your complexion when they have a significant amount of contact with your skin across the day or night (in other words, a cleanser or body wash that goes down the drain won’t have the same long-term skin improvements!).
When we’re talking green-tea, what we’re really talking about is EGCG, and this in long form is epigallocatechin gallate, which is an important active part of this natural ingredient and is known to be responsible for all its health and skin benefits.
Another powerhouse antioxidant, green tea will soothe skin, assist with anti-ageing and may even support improved appearance in sun-damaged skin. So many skin types will benefit from green tea, and there has been interesting research done in the use of green tea products for healing acne. It’s really a multi-benefit wonder and worthwhile drinking for the internal antioxidant benefit on top!
Remember that like all skincare ingredients, those from nature can result in adverse reactions if you have specific allergies, so always patch-test any new product or DIY at-home skincare blend.