Cleaning up your beauty routine can quickly become centered on all the things you’re supposed to avoid (good bye, phthalates parabens, triclosan, etc, etc). But what about the good stuff? What are the ingredients you’re actually supposed to look for?
In an effort to give the process a more positive spin (and to help you avoid having to scan the back of every. single. moisturizer), we asked clean-beauty formulator Leigh Winters and Rachelle Robinett—herbalist, holistic health practitioner, and founder of Supernatural—to share a guide to some of the buzzy plant ingredients that are just as effective as the toxic stuff.
“In some sense, we eat what we wear (on our skin),” Robinett explains. “If there’s a chemical in our skin care, it too can be absorbed and affect us, especially with long-term use.” That means rubbing on a random product you found buried at the bottom of your makeup bag (without knowing what’s actually in it) is maybe not such a great idea.
“Our body is a system—everything we put on our skin, nails, and hair can create a physiological cascade that throws our body out of balance,” adds Winters. Her point? It’s probably worth it to acquaint yourself with the plant-rich ingredients that’ll deliver on glow (and support your holistic wellness).
The most important thing to remember, though, when caring for your complexion is that your skin is constantly evolving in response to your lifestyle, the seasons, your stress levels, and more. So ensuring that the ingredients in your products match your skin’s current needs is crucial for yielding the healthy, glowing complexion you’re after. Now lets get to learning.
Keep scrolling for a glossary of the plant-rich ingredients to add to your beauty routine.
Nope, almond isn’t just for your morning latte or afternoon snack. It’s a skin care all star too. “Almond oil is ideal for those with sensitive skin since it’s non-irritating, non-sensitizing, and non-comedogenic,” Winters says.
If that’s not enough to sell you on the benefits of the nut, Winters humble brags on almond oil a bit more, adding: “It’s an incredibly balancing oil that contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids, making it a powerful emollient, leading to improved complexion and skin tone with use over time.” And to top off almond oil’s impressive resume, it’s super quickly and easily absorbed because it essentially mimics the lipid layer of the skin.
Almond oil delivers these skin-smoothing properties in Weleda’s Sensitive Care Facial Lotion, which is specially designed for people with dry, sensitive skin, or anyone who’s a fan of softer skin (so, everyone). Basically, almond is the MVP of everything from our coffee orders to our skin-care routines now.
More than just a juicy, seed-filled fruit, pomegranates are super high in antioxidants. In fact, they contain three times more than red wine and green tea, according to Robinett, which makes them useful for fighting skin-damaging free-radicals.
If its antioxidant levels weren’t impressive enough, the fruit is also a potent regenerator of the outermost layer of skin, says Winters. “The main polyphenol in pomegranate seed oil is ellagic acid, which has been found to plump skin and minimize wrinkles and inflammation.”
Plus, pomegranate is nearly overflowing with vitamin C, which makes skin softer when applied topically, according to Winters. Weleda Awakening Serum uses the full power of pomegranate to boost the hydration levels in your skin to soften it and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. And to think you were just sprinkling pomegranate seeds on your salad for the flavor.
Other than being a hit song from the late 90s, what do you really know about iris? “Iris root is used in cosmetic formulation due to its proclivity to rebalance the skin’s natural moisture levels,” Winters says. “Morphologically speaking, the iris root is renowned for its capacity to hold moisture, which means it comes as no surprise that we see that application of the plant in skin care.”
Off-the-chart hydration that won’t clog your pores? Score this moisture-balancing-act of an ingredient with Weleda’s Hydrating Day Cream, which mixes iris with jojoba seed oil, so you can enjoy supple, moisturized skin without ever overdoing it.
Roses are red. Violets are blue. Want more radiant skin? Wild rose can help you. Yes, it’s a below-average poem, but wild rose is an above-average ingredient that’s earned its place as the star of the plant-rich skin-care scene because of its youth-boosting characteristics.
The wild rose extracts found in Weleda Renewing Night Cream are combinations of rose mosqueta—a variety of rosehip seed—and rose damask. “The principal bioactive component in rosehip—tretinoin—has been demonstrated as skin healing by helping to repair damaged tissue,” Winters says. “Its richness in linoleic acid makes rosehip renowned for its regenerative properties and improving dull, dry skin.”
What are you waiting for? Waking up with a no-filter rosy glow by morning starts with slathering on some renewing night cream before bed. (No, it’s not just a dream.)
Despite its name, witch hazel isn’t actually a magical concoction. It does, however, have some powerful qualities that have made it a go-to natural skin-care ingredient for years.
“Witch hazel is one of nature’s oldest and most effective all-natural astringent ingredients,” Winters says. “Composed of tannins, which are a group of astringent molecules, witch hazel can be applied directly to the skin to tighten the skin and absorb excess oil.” It’s sounding pretty magical so far, don’t you think?
According to Robinett, witch hazel also suppresses inflammation and reduces redness even in sensitive or sun-damaged skin. All of this beauty-boosting goodness lives inside Weleda’s Gentle Cleansing Foam, which rids your skin of all the stuff you don’t need (re: makeup and excess oil) while keeping all the good stuff (AKA your natural oils).
There you have it—a glossary of the buzziest plant-rich skin-care ingredients that can take on your skin’s ever-evolving needs. Don’t you feel wiser (and glowier) already? Find out which ingredients work best for you by taking the Weleda Skin Care Profiler Quiz—and bask in the glory of more radiant, healthier-looking skin.
Sponsored by Weleda