In a society flooded with artificial products promising miraculous outcomes, there is an increasing trend towards more natural products and that is just as true for facial products. We’re also realizing the pursuit of luminous skin isn’t vanity; it symbolizes self-love and self-care. We deserve to feel self-assured and at ease in our own skin, embracing the innate beauty within each one of us. So let’s take a closer look at botanical skincare and learn an easy DIY facial moisturizer.
One of the plants we’ll use in the recipe has been used by women to perk up tired and lackluster skin with new vitality for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations revered it for its beauty-enhancing properties and its capacity to preserve youthful allure. Sounds exotic and pricey, doesn’t it? Nope. You may even have this plant in your home right now!
First, let’s talk about herbal skincare in general. If you want to jump to the recipe and read this later, feel free.
How Skin Ages (and it’s ok, really!)
To truly care for our skin, it is helpful to understand its evolution as we age. Our skin shifts in the texture, elasticity, and overall appearance. These changes are influenced by a variety of factors, including environmental elements, lifestyle choices, and our unique genetic makeup.
Over time, exposure to the sun, pollution, and other external factors can contribute to the breakdown of collagen and elastin, the essential components that maintain our skin’s firmness and suppleness. This can result in the emergence of fine lines, wrinkles, and a loss of skin elasticity.
Our skin’s natural ability to retain moisture and produce vital proteins decreases. This can lead to dryness, roughness, and a lackluster complexion. Hormonal fluctuations, particularly during menopause, can also impact our skin by influencing oil production and potentially causing acne breakouts or uneven skin tone.
It is important to adopt a comprehensive skincare routine that addresses these underlying factors so we can enhance our skin’s health and promote a more vibrant appearance. It’s not about looking like we’re 20 again, it about looking healthy and confident.
Our skin tells a story—and that is the story of our lives and the lives of our mother and her mother and so on. I tan easily and on the rare occasion when I burn, it never hurts. I can thank my Lebanese ancestors for that. I have deep wrinkles, called elevens, between my brows. I earned those enduring years of pain, chemotherapy, and surgery during a bout with stage 4 colon cancer (get screened, folks!) I’m all about celebrating the wisdom and beauty that come with each passing year.
Skin Care Trends
Skin self-care isn’t new. Egyptian hieroglyphics record herbal remedies for skin care and similar texts are found in most every ancient culture. They used trial and error to discover the properties of specific plants to nourish and rejuvenate our skin. They weren’t always right, though. The Elizabethans put lead and arsenic on their faces (OMG!)
Then, in the 1950’s, the trend in the US was to reject anything natural or herbal in favor of lab produced products. Plastics were new and trendy and the same fascination with science permeated skin care. While it’s helpful to use scientific studies to examine if a product works and is safe, the pendulum swung too far in favor of artificial products even if they were less effective and less safe than the natural products used in earlier generations.
Today, we’re able to take the best of these ancient herbal remedies and add them into our own skincare rituals. In that spirit, let’s look at each ingredient and learn a bit more about them.
Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera, with its succulent leaves and gel-like substance, possesses an array of benefits for the skin. While most people know about it’s effect on soothing mild burns, it also keeps skin hydrated and supple. It has soothing and anti-inflammatory qualities that can help calm irritated skin, promoting a healthy complexion. Aloe vera is believed to stimulate collagen production, improving skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its natural antioxidants help protect the skin from environmental damage, leaving it rejuvenated and glowing.
This delicate flower has been treasured for centuries for its calming and soothing properties when brewed as tea. Chamomile is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities, making it a gentle yet effective ingredient for sensitive or acne-prone skin. It helps to reduce redness, irritation, and blemishes, promoting a clearer and more balanced complexion. Chamomile also contains antioxidants that can combat free radicals, protecting the skin from premature aging.
Rosehip Seed Oil
Derived from the wild rose plant, rosehip seed oil is a potent source of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. It deeply nourishes the skin, promoting cell regeneration and enhancing its overall texture and tone. Rosehip seed oil is particularly beneficial for fading scars, reducing hyperpigmentation, and improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its antioxidant content helps fight oxidative stress and environmental damage, leaving the skin radiant and youthful.
With its vibrant golden petals, calendula is a botanical superstar for skin health. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties that soothe irritated or inflamed skin, making it a valuable ingredient for those with sensitive skin conditions. Calendula also aids in wound healing, helping to reduce the appearance of scars and promote a smoother complexion. It is rich in antioxidants that combat free radicals and protect the skin from environmental stressors.
Knowing a bit about the ingredients, you can start to see how a skin cream containing them would be amazing! So let’s get to it.
The Recipe – Easy DIY Facial Moisturizer
The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity and effectiveness. You only need small amounts of some of the ingredients so host a party and have your friends come over and you can all make this together and split the costs.
- 1/4 cup Aloe vera gel
- 1 tablespoon Chamomile tea (brewed and cooled)
- 1 tablespoon Rosehip seed oil
- 1 tablespoon Calendula oil
- Start by brewing a cup of chamomile tea. Make it STRONG. Use 4 tablespoons of flowers to ¼ cup water. Allow it to cool completely and strain out the flowers from the liquid. We will use 1 tablespoon of the cooled tea for our recipe.
- In a small, non-reactive bowl, combine 1/4 cup of Aloe Vera gel with 1 tablespoon of chamomile tea. Mix well to ensure the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
- Add 1 tablespoon of Rosehip seed oil and 1 tablespoon of Calendula oil to the mixture. Stir gently to incorporate all the ingredients, creating a smooth cream. If you are doing a large batch at a party, you can use egg beaters to really whip it up.
- Once the herbal cream is well combined, transfer it to a clean, airtight container for storage. Choose a container that is suitable for skincare products and ensure it is properly sanitized before use.
Remember, consistency is key when it comes to skincare. Feel free to adjust the quantities of the ingredients to suit your preferences and skin’s needs.
Preparing this herbal cream at home allows you to take control of your skincare and feel confident of the quality of the ingredients. But there are other ways to incorporate more holistic skin self-care into your life.
Taking care of your skin is more than topicals.
Let’s explore some key practices that synergistically work alongside the herbal recipe to promote a vibrant and balanced complexion.
- Nourish from Within: Remember, healthy skin starts from within. Eat a nutrient-rich diet filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support skin health and promote a youthful glow. Stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water daily, as proper hydration helps maintain skin elasticity and clarity.
- Stress Management: Stress can take a toll on our skin, leading to breakouts, inflammation, and premature aging. Incorporate stress management techniques into your daily routine, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in activities you enjoy. Taking time for relaxation can help promote a harmonious balance and positively impact your skin’s appearance.
- Quality Sleep: Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. During sleep, our bodies undergo repair and rejuvenation processes, and this includes our skin. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to allow your skin to regenerate and wake up feeling refreshed and revitalized.
- Sun Protection: Shielding your skin from harmful UV rays is essential for maintaining its youthful appearance. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily, even on cloudy days. Additionally, consider wearing protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and switching from a bikini top to a long sleeved swim shirt.
- Mindful Skincare: Opt for natural and gentle skincare products that align with your skin’s needs. Avoid harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances, and irritants that can disrupt the skin’s balance. Choose products that are free of harmful ingredients and support your skin’s natural healing and renewal processes.
- Facial Massage: Incorporating facial massage into your skincare routine can promote blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, and relaxation. Use gentle upward strokes and circular motions while applying your herbal cream to encourage absorption and enhance its effectiveness. Facial massage also helps release tension and promotes a radiant, glowing complexion.
By adopting these holistic practices alongside the amazing moisturizer you made yourself, you are taking a comprehensive approach to skincare that nurtures your entire being. Remember, radiant skin reflects not only external care but also the balance and well-being that come from within. Adopt these practices as part of your self-care ritual, and watch as your skin blossoms with newfound radiance and vitality.
Join Our Mailing List!
Sign up and be the first to know about specials, promotions and our latest articles on health and wellness.
Cara Schulz, a cancer survivor and green tea lover, has opened The Flower Pot, a holistic wellness shop in Burnsville that offers products ranging from medicinal teas and wellness tonics and herbal tinctures.