Whether it's winter or summer, or somewhere in-between, our skin needs to be taken care of. Your skin is your body's largest organ and reflects the overall state of your health.
So what is skin's purpose and why do we have it? For many reasons of course, but the main one being a form of protection from the outside environment. Sunburn, a tan, freckles, and age spots are all results of overexposure to UV rays. These rays are always present, even during a super cloudy day, but do the most damage when we spend more time outside during the warmer months. Since summer is a few weeks away, I thought I'd share some of the best herbs that not only heal and protect your skin, but keep it healthy and beautiful.
1. ALOE- Aloe has skin soothing properties, after all, it is what you use after getting a sunburn! It is known to heal wounds by increasing collagen production by up to 90%!
How to use: Aloe plants are available at grocery stores, flower shops and the like. Break off a piece of aloe from the plant, slice it open, and scrape out the inside. Rub it on your skin several times a day. Aloe gel and juice can also be purchased and used accordingly.
2. COMFREY ROOT- Comfrey is a connective tissue herb, so it helps heal your skin if damaged in anyway. It's known as a "cell proliferate" which means it stimulates cell regeneration. If you have a bad sunburn with blistering, this is the herb for you!
How to use: Make a strong tea (infusion) of comfrey and use a cotton ball to gently apply it your burn several times a day.
3. HORSETAIL- Horsetail is a herb with a high nutrient content (specifically silica), it builds body tissues, and is an excellent wound healer.
How to use: Horsetail is available in capsules which can be found at your local drugstore, powder which you can find online or at health food stores, and it can be made into a tea or tincture.
4. CALENDULA- By far one of my favorite herbs to use, Calendula is an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. It also heals damaged skin and bruising.
How to use: Infuse a carrier oil of choice (sweet almond, olive, jojoba) with calendula leaves. Add some beeswax and make it into a salve that can be applied as needed.
Having healthy skin essentially comes down to what goes INTO your body. Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, and treat yourself like you're worth it. It is still important to get a daily does of vitamin D (which can be done by spending 15 minutes outside), but don't over do it. Of course, if you happen to not be paying attention to how long you've been outside, or when you last applied sunscreen, you now have the tools to begin the healing process. Majority of the herbs mentioned above can be purchased at www.mountainroseherbs.com. I also created a Body Balm and Body Whip that contain Comfrey and Calendula which can be purchase at Home Yoga & Barre and www.etsy.com/shop/KsApothecary.