Herbal Topicals And Teas For Skin Health

Donna Easto, H.C., C.H., M.H.,
Certified Herbal Educator

Yogurt Honey Mask. Mix 6 tablespoons of full-fat yogurt and six tablespoons of raw organic or Manuka honey.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  To use:  Take two tablespoons of the mixture and let it warm up for about 20 minutes while you’re gently washing your face. Then apply the yogurt honey mask with fingers or a clean cotton pad.  Leave on for 10 minutes.  Rinse and apply moisturizer.  Do this 2 to 5 times a week.  By applying a mix of a probiotic (yogurt) with an antibacterial (honey), you’ll be improving your skin microbiome and killing bacteria while moisturizing your skin.  Some women find a cinnamon (1 tsp) to honey(2 tbsps) mix works for them.  Cinnamon also has antibacterial properties. Steeped green tea leaves mixed with honey also make an effective mask for acne-prone areas of your face.

While you’re enjoying a healing mask, try sipping a cup of liver-friendly Dandelion root tea.  Dandelion root stimulates digestion and helps the liver rid your body of toxins and excess hormones.  Take two teaspoons of the dried, chopped root, cover with 8 ounces of just boiling water and steep covered for 15 minutes.  Dosage:  3-4 cups a day.

Many teas help support skin health, including green tea, Matcha, Spearmint, Lavender, Rooibos and Hibiscus.  If you use organic teabags (and tea), a quick way to treat a breakout is to place the cooled bag directly on the lesion for a couple of minutes. The tea’s antioxidants will infuse directly into your skin, helping to hydrate and calm inflammation.  Teabags are also an easy way to make a wash.  Simply brew two cups – the first to drink fresh, the second a more potent infusion* to apply to your skin after cooling.

Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory Calendula flower wash is another good choice for skin health.  Infuse* one teaspoon of dried organic flowers in 8 ounces of hot (not boiling) water for 10 minutes.  Strain, cool and apply to the face with a clean cotton pad.  You can also make a wash from anti-inflammatory Chamomile flowers.  Steep one tablespoon of the dried flowers in 8 ounces of hot water for 10 minutes.  Strain and apply as for Calendula.

Rosewater spritz.  Not only does it smell heavenly it’s also a skincare natural with anti-inflammatory, astringent and antioxidant actions.  If you’re using fresh petals, be sure to rinse them well.  This time of year, dried is the usual option.  Use ¼ cup dried petals to replace  ½ cup fresh.  Place the petals in a non-reactive pan and cover with distilled water sufficient just to immerse.  Bring to a slow simmer uncovered,  reduce heat to its lowest, cover the pan and let sit until the petals have lost their colour.  Remove from the heat and cool leaving the lid on.  Once cooled, strain through double cheesecloth and pour into a spray bottle.  It’ll keep in the fridge for about a month.  Close your eyes and spritz onto your face as often as you like.  Add those spent petals to your compost.

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