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3 Plants You Should Be Using For Glowing, Radiant Skin, From An Herbalist

Hannah Frye
Author:
December 07, 2023
Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
By Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.
Young woman with glowing skin holding a lily
Image by OHLAMOUR STUDIO / Stocksy
December 07, 2023
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Every beauty professional has their nonnegotiable steps. In our series, Like a Pro, we tap experts for the top three techniques they absolutely swear by. Here, you'll hear from a variety of industry insiders on the fail-safe tricks they always keep in their back pockets. We're all about simplifying your beauty regimen wherever you can, and sometimes the best routines are as easy as one, two, three.

You may sip on a cup of tea when you have a common cold or just to enjoy the herbaceous flavors, but what you may not know is that plenty of herbs have skin-related benefits as well—both when ingested and used topically. 

I wanted the inside scoop on which herbs to look for when seeking complexion benefits, so of course, I asked an herbalist. Discover my findings below:

1.

Burdock root

According to medical herbalist Julie Williams, founder of natural skin care brand Leaf People, you can never go wrong with burdock root.

When used topically, the peptides in burdock root can help regulate sebum production and also help minimize harmful bacteria1 that lead to breakouts, making this a great ingredient for acne-prone skin. 

When consumed in tea, burdock root can help support the liver and overall detoxification of the body, Williams says, which can help promote glowing skin as a positive chain reaction. The herb is also packed with antioxidants2, which help protect the skin from oxidative stress

Where to find it

If you want to use burdock root in your tea blend, consider this organic option from Mountain Rose Herbs, or try the Nature's Answer Burdock Root Fluid Extract. You can also look for it in your skin care products to reap the topical benefits. 
2.

Horsetail

Another herb Williams reaches for is the mighty horsetail. This herb is well known for its silica mineral content3, which is one of the building blocks for optimal collagen synthesis4 in the skin. 

Why is collagen so important? Well, without collagen and elastin, your skin wouldn't be held together so tightly. The collagen in your skin begins to decrease by about 1% each year once you hit your mid-20s5; hence, why so many topical formulas and skin supplements focus on collagen support. 

So if you want to elevate your collagen game (read: support the collagen your skin already has), consider adding horsetail to the mix topically or via tea.

Where to find it

For tea, try the Frontier Co-op Cut & Sifted Horsetail Herb. You can also ingest collagen peptides to promote your body's natural production, or look for horsetail in your skin care products to reap the topical benefits.
3.

Red clover flower

Finally, we have red clover flower. These flowers are rich in isoflavones, which, when used topically, have been shown to increase skin thickness and ease the appearance of fine lines6

When ingested, isoflavones have also been shown to help with menopause symptoms7 like hot flashes, as well as support cardiovascular health8

If you don't care for tea, you can even consume these flowers as a garnish on soups and salads, Williams says. 

Where to find it

Try the Traditional Medicinals Red Clover Tea for a fruity and floral cup. For topical use, consider the Leaf People Neroli & Jasmine Hand & Body Lotion.

A note on herbs

As with any supplement, herbal or otherwise, it's best to consult your doctor before committing to a new product. Some herbs can have powerful benefits but may interfere with some medications, so it's always best to double-check with your doctor if you're concerned. 

The takeaway

Burdock root, horsetail, and red clover flower can all help support a healthy, glowing complexion when used topically or ingested through tea. Optimal skin health requires an inside-out approach, after all. As with any botanicals in skin care, make sure to always patch-test topical products to check for allergies. And here, find more glowing skin tips.

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