1. Aloe Vera
Many people turn to aloe vera as a timeless solution for sunburns, cuts, and scrapes. Just a dab can help calm inflammation, and its antimicrobial properties help speed up the healing process. In skincare, it works much in the same way. Aloe vera is a natural ingredient that can hydrate and soothe the skin. It can come in a liquid or gel form, perfect for moisturizers, creams, gels, and masks.
2. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel (hamamelis virginiana) is also a natural ingredient, although many people may overlook it since it resembles rubbing alcohol in the drugstore. Originating from a shrub that’s indigenous to the United States, it’s been used for centuries as a remedy for skin ailments related to irritation and inflammation. For those with sensitive skin and acne or clogged pores, witch hazel is a holy grail. That’s because many products that target acne (such as those with salicylic acid) can be too irritating for sensitive skin. Witch hazel, however, is a naturally effective herbal extract that can unclog pores by removing excess oil. It’s commonly used in toners or in a spray bottle.
Seaweed isn’t just the perfect blanket for sushi. It’s also a great ingredient for skincare. Seaweed is a powerful concentration of seawater that holds minerals, vitamins, amino acids, lipids, and proteins inside. This can help soothe inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea and acne. The magnesium and zinc in it can also help reduce redness. When formulating skincare products, it’s important to note that there are actually quite a few different types of seaweed you can use to target specific skin issues.
For example, here are some other types we recommend:
- Brown seaweed (algin) is listed as alginic acid on skincare labels. It’s great for
lotions, moisturizers, and creams since it also helps replenish moisture in the
skin. It’s also a thickening agent that helps create a rich, creamy texture.
- Red seaweed (Chondrus crispus) is also referred to as carrageenan. This
extract is great for anti-aging skincare since it’s filled with antioxidants,
peptides, and polysaccharides. It is also useful in formulations to thicken
products and as an emulsifier.
- Spirulina is a dark green powder many consumers have experienced in a
supplement or a smoothie. However, it’s a great skincare ingredient for
sensitive skin since it's rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients.
It has antimicrobial properties and can reduce the appearance of dark spots
and dark circles under the eyes.
4. Shea Butter
For those who find their skin getting irritated from fancy lotions and creams, they may benefit from taking things back to the basics. Shea butter is a natural ingredient that works like an emollient to soften and hydrate the skin. It is especially effective at treating eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, as well as minimizing scars and stretch marks.
5. Edelweiss Extract
Edelweiss extract comes from a flower that grows in the Swiss Alps. It has antibacterial, anti-blemish, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It also contains lignans, a type of compound that has a natural skin-calming benefit, as well as leontopodic acid, which strengthens the skin’s barrier–making it more resilient against environmental stressors.
6. Green Tea
Green tea has long been used for medicinal purposes. In recent years, green tea extract has become a popular ingredient for skincare due to the polyphenols that act as an antioxidant to help heal sun-damaged skin and prevent further damage.
7. Centella Asiatica
Centella asiatica (also known as Gotu kola or Tiger Grass) is a perennial herb grown in Asia that contains active compounds that serve as antioxidants. In addition, it has a rich source of amino acids. It’s both hydrating and quite effective at calming the skin during flare-ups, such as after a chemical peel, IPL treatment, or between retinol applications.
Oat extract and oat oil have long been used to treat minor skin conditions and balance the skin’s microbiome—that is, the millions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live on your skin and serve as a physical barrier to protect the skin and keep irritants out. Taking an oatmeal bath was a celebrated solution to dry, itchy skin for centuries (and is still recommended to this day). Today, it’s used in a number of skincare items, from body wash to face creams.