In spite of their luring commercials, beauty and skin care products are often filled with chemicals whose lasting effects on the body can be unhealthy or, in the best case, remain to be proven. Prolonged use of these artificial ingredients can sometimes lead to allergies, skin irritation, or even severe conditions derived from alterations in the hormonal balance of the body. Here are some time-tested natural ingredients that can help your skin look beautiful while avoiding the negative side-effects of commercial products.
1. Raw Honey
Raw honey (honey that has not been processed in any way) is a little miracle of nature. Rich in nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants, raw honey has been long known for its antiseptical virtues, healing properties, and moisturizing effects. It can be used as a pore cleanser, exfoliator, and a scar fader. Its antimicrobial properties make it a core ingredient in several anti-acne treatments, and its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing qualities make it the perfect choice for effectively dealing with sunburn.
2. Aloe Vera
Rich in nutrients, enzymes, and anti-inflammatory compounds, Aloe Vera has been part of healing treatments in several cultures since time unknown. Already famous nowadays as a natural treatment for sunburnt (thanks in part to its moisturizing qualities), this plant also contains a number of anti-oxidants, as well as vitamins C and E. These elements justify its current ubiquitous presence in anti-aging and scar fading products.
3. Jojoba oil
More of a wax than an oil, this ingredient comes from the Jojoba plant, which is indigenous to southern U.S. and northern Mexico. Containing vitamins B and E and important minerals such as zinc and copper, Jojoba oil is mainly used to keep the skin nourished and hydrated for long periods of time. Jojoba’s place in the anti-aging industry has been almost unparalleled since the 1980’s, even when its combination with synthetic ingredients in cosmetic products has often reduced its benefits as a mild, natural compound.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Produced from the leaves of the tea tree, this oil is a renowned for its antiseptic and antifungal properties. When applied topically, it’s a very effective treatment for all sorts of skin infections (such as acne and athlete foot) and it bears almost no side effects. Its ingestion, though, can be toxic and therefore should be avoided.
Although perhaps not as well known as the first four ingredients, this root is extremely valuable thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Often used in the form of an antioxidant-rich extract, Licorice is key in rosacea and redness treatments. It’s also been proven to partially inhibit the production of melanin, making it a gentle choice for people dealing with an uneven skin tone.