We are most fortunate to live in the era when scientific technology advancement happens faster than ever. The fact is (if you haven’t already noticed) skincare brands are constantly trying to beat each other in terms of research and development. Say if a brand successfully introduced a product line based on a specific ingredient and it went soaring, we notice that more brands flood in, introducing similar products featuring the same ingredient, in hopes of taking advantage of the market momentum. However, what many consumers didn’t know is that not all skincare ingredients live up to their hype. So what if this is just marketing?
Read on to discover the 10 natural ingredients that are truly beneficial for healthier skin.
Benefits: Hydrating, skin soothing, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory.
Okay, when we talk about natural skincare ingredients, it is impossible to not mention Aloe Vera. Remember those days when we got sunburnt or accidentally scalded ourselves? Mum would take an Aloe Vera leaf, peel it and use its clear gel to soothe the heat. That same cooling gel also contains antiseptic properties that can fight skin inflammation and collagen that could slow down the signs of aging.
Find it in: Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel
Benefits: Hydrating, soothing, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, sun protection.
Better known as the beautiful yellow botanical plant Marigold, Calendula is genetically embedded with antiseptic and wound healing properties, which makes it especially recommended for acne-prone skin type. Similar to Aloe Vera, Calendula extract also has great hydrating properties, but it has added advantage of sun-protective qualities that will protect the skin against UV radiation.
Find it in: Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner
Benefits: Wound healing, skin soothing, anti-aging.
Brahmi, Asiatic pennywort, tiger grass, and gotu kola… these are the other names which refer to Centella Asiatica. If you are familiar with Korean skincare, you would notice that products labelled with the term “cica” are often associated with Centella Asiatica. In fact, the use of this plant extract can be traced back to ancient Asian history in which it is well known for its wound healing benefits, even till today in our modern skincare industry. Research shows that the chemical compounds in this plant helps to boost blood supply to injury sites and strengthen the skin barrier, hence resulting in fast healing.
Find it in: Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream
Benefits: Skin soothing, anti-aging, sun protection.
Extensive research from the past has been suggesting that consuming green tea is good for overall health improvement. Nonetheless, with its rich antioxidant properties and soothing abilities, green tea is one of the most widely used ingredients in the skincare industry. But what many don’t know is that the polyphenols in green tea possess potent photo-protection benefits in terms of treating sun-damaged skin.
Find it in: Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum
Benefits: Skin balancing, anti-aging, blood circulation booster.
A good ginseng can only be harvested after growing for 6 years when it reaches its peak potency, which explains why this Asian traditional medicine ingredient is so precious. This herb is not only served in meals or beverages, but also widely featured in anti-aging skincare products. Thanks to its bioactive compounds and nourishing minerals, ginseng is proven very effective in improving blood circulation and increasing collagen production, hence giving you a revitalized and firmer complexion.
Find it in: Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream EX
Benefits: Anti-aging, skin restoring, exfoliation.
Also known as the “botox” plant, Hibiscus is rich in antioxidants, namely anthocyanosides, which not only strengthen the skin barrier, but also increases skin elasticity, giving an overall youthful appearance. Besides that, the flower contains organic AHAs (citric acid and malic acid) that promote skin cell turnover, resulting in a more even-looking skin tone. Hibiscus also has anti-inflammatory effects that help to soothe inflamed skin, making it suitable for those who have sensitive skin.
Find it in: Mamonde Moisture Ceramide Light Cream
Benefits: Skin soothing, vitamins, anti-aging.
While honey is widely consumed as food, this fructose and glucose-composed ingredient is also incorporated into skincare products due to its amino acid and peptide composition. Despite its primary antioxidant use in skincare products, this sweet gooey ingredient is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, which explains its wound healing and skin calming abilities.
Find it in: Fresh Creme Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask With Antioxidant Echinacea
Benefits: Anti-inflammatory, eczema relief.
Oatmeal, better known as Oats, is not merely your power breakfast, but also contains power ingredients that benefit our skin. First, it contains saponin which works as a great natural skin cleanser that won’t strip natural oils in our skin. Secondly, due to its anti-pruritic nature, Oats have been proven effective to control skin itching caused by skin diseases and fungal infections. Also rich in proteins and lipids, Oatmeal’s potent emollient properties make it a great ingredient for moisturizer, and is especially gentle for those with sensitive and dry skin type.
Find it in: Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream
Benefits: Skin smoothing, brightening, anti-aging.
As research has shown that estrogen production is vital in maintaining skin elasticity, Soybean quickly garnered attention in the skincare industry for its phytoestrogen which helps to boost skin collagen production, resulting in firmer skin complexion. Also rich in Vitamin A and E, Soybean has a stunning skin revitalizing ability, particularly in terms of reducing wrinkles and skin brightening. Nonetheless, it contains protease inhibitors, an enzyme that can reduce melanin production, hence lightening skin pigmentation and overall skin tone.
Find it in: Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence
Tea tree oil
Benefits: Anti-microbial, blemish-fighting, skin soothing.
This natural remedy extracted from the tea tree leaf has antimicrobial and anti-inflammation properties that kill or prevent the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and algae, explaining the wide usage of tea tree oil in acne-prone skincare products. To combat breakouts, it is recommended to use products with tea tree oil concentration of 2.5% to 10%; However, bear in mind that tea tree oil is one of the most strong-smelling plant oils, which many find intolerable. Despite its powerful blemish-fighting properties, tea tree oil contains volatile components (i.e. linalool, limonene and eucalyptol) that can be sensitizing or even cause redness on the skin. Hence, it is crucial to monitor your skin condition after using and find the right usage amount.
Find it in: The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution