We’ve all heard the phrase “natural beauty,” but as it turns out, nature may have more to do with beauty than we thought. Several studies have found that pure ingredients found in nature may be effective when used as topical natural beauty products.
For thousands of years, people in different countries and cultures have known about the “secret” powers of nature and have used various plants and herbs as health and beauty treatments. These “secrets” were passed down from generation to generation, and while some may have become regarded as “old wives tales,” others have held up and are still used today. Now, thanks to modern research, there is evidence that specific plants and ingredients from Mother Nature may be beneficial when used as natural beauty products due to their antioxidant and anti-aging properties.
Here are 11 ingredients from nature that are effective natural beauty products:
Argan oil: Moroccan women have used argan oil for years to diminish the appearance of wrinkles, psoriasis, burns, and acne. When applied topically, argan’s rich linoleic acid content helps reduce acne. Plus, it contains vitamin E, which has anti-aging properties and it helps reduce scarring.
Aloe vera: Aloe vera gel straight from the plant has calming and restorative properties when applied to the skin. Studies report that aloe vera is antibacterial and helps to speed-up wound healing in rats. In humans who have had aloe vera applied after dermabrasion treatments, their damaged skin healed 72 hours faster than when no aloe vera was applied.
Baking soda: There are many uses of the ordinary baking soda found on your pantry shelf. It can clean your sinks, deodorize your refrigerator, and if you brush your teeth with it, it can help whiten your teeth and curtail bad breath.
Coconut oil: The molecular structure of coconut oil allows it to penetrate your skin and hair, helping to prevent dehydration and replacing lipids that naturally decrease with age. According to scientific studies, coconut oil may also help wounds heal more quickly, help treat eczema and may have therapeutic effects for acne.
Green tea: You’ve probably heard that drinking green tea is good for you, but as a topical application, it also has several benefits. Several studies have reported that it may reduce the effects of UV damage from the sun, enhance wound healing, and treat acne. Green tea is also anti-inflammatory and may be effective in reducing the redness from with rosacea.
Honey: Before the invention of antibiotics, honey was often used as a wound dressing to accelerate healing. Now, science has shown that when applied topically, honey has anti-bacterial effects and it helps prevent scarring.
Olive oil: A study done on mice in 2000 found that the topical application of olive oil after UVB exposure was effective at reducing the mice’s chances of developing skin tumors. Already proven to be a powerful antioxidant in food, olive oil may play an exciting role in reducing skin DNA damage as well.
Propolis: Bees use an antimicrobial resin called propolis to sterilize their hives. Several studies have shown its properties to be beneficial for human health, including shortening the duration of common colds and slowing down damaged cell proliferation in the body. Topically, propolis functions as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that research has shown to protect skin against photodamage. It’s actually more antibacterial than honey and is even effective for cold sores.
Shea butter: Shea butter has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and recent studies report that its cinnamic acid content reduces the effects of UV damage.
Vitamin C: Studies have found that vitamin C may boost collagen production, guard against damage from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, minimize skin pigmentation problems, and improve inflammatory skin conditions. The key is using the right type of vitamin C. Research has shown that L-ascorbic acid is the most potent form of vitamin C, which helps to minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Natural creams or serums that contain L-ascorbic acid helps the skin fight free-radical damage, helps reduce skin redness, stimulates wound healing, and helps minimize fine wrinkles.
Tea tree oil: For acne, tea tree oil is a safe alternative to benzoyl peroxide, which is banned in Europe to due harmful side effects. A comparative study found tea tree oil is just as effective as benzoyl peroxide for treating pimples, and it has shown fewer side effects.
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