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Used for thousands of years as a way to keep skin smooth, hydrated and protected, the power of plants has long been recognised as a valuable aid to well-being. Whilst ancient civilisations found out which plants had healing properties through trial and error, with the knowledge of what worked being handed down from generation to generation, contemporary science shows the wisdom of their choices! Plants are extremely complex, containing a wide range of different chemical compounds. Analysis shows that some of these compounds have a proven physiological effect on skin, helping to combat some of the common problems which skin experiences. Here we take a look at five plants that have been shown to help protect and nourish skin.

Shea butter

Widely recognised as a powerful moisturiser, Shea butter is a fat, extracted from the Shea nut. Shea butter contains a blend of vitamins and active compounds. The vitamins found in Shea butter include Vitamin E (a vitamin necessary to enhance skin and eye health, as well as contribute towards a healthy immune system), Vitamin A (which helps to keep the immune system in good working order as well as contribute towards the health of other organs) and Vitamin C (well-known as the vitamin needed to keep all body tissue in good working order. In particular, it’s an important requirement for the production and repair of collagen cells, the cells which help to give skin firmness and support). These vitamins not only work well individually, but when combined together their beneficial effects are greater than the sum of their parts – the vitamins work in synergy to improve skin health.

Not only is Shea butter packed with vitamins, it’s also an emollient. This means that when applied to skin, it forms a protective barrier, trapping moisture and helping to reduce the risk of dryness, itching or dehydration. Studies have shown that Shea butter can assist in hydrating and moisturising the skin, as well as helping to manage conditions such as eczema and inflamed, scaly or itchy skin.

Chamomile

Many people will already have come across chamomile as a gentle aid to relaxation: popular as a tea to aid sleep and tranquillity, chamomile has also been shown to have a number of therapeutic properties. An anti-inflammatory agent, chamomile may also have analgesic (pain-killing) effects. It’s also been shown to boost the immune system and is anti-bacterial. Historically, chamomile was used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and wounds. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile can be used to reduce the discomfort of acne. It also contains compounds which can assist cell renewal and regeneration, potentially speeding up healing and contributing towards healthier-looking, more radiant skin. Not only is <a href=”https://www.natralus.com.au/shop-the-range/skin-concern/normal-skin”>chamomile</a> an absolute powerhouse for skin health, it’s also a safe and gentle herb that’s suitable for inclusion in skin remedies for children or those who have delicate, sensitive skin.

Aloe Vera

Aloe is frequently used as a first aid remedy for minor burns, aloe vera contains anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial compounds, as well as various vitamins and minerals. Studies have shown that aloe vera enhances the healing rate of burned skin, as well as assisting in reducing inflammation and preventing infection. Its anti-oxidant properties are particularly useful: in chemical terms, oxidation refers to the process by which compounds lose electrons. When exposed to UV light, skin experiences oxidation. In the long term, this can lead to an accelerated ageing effect and also increase the risk of skin mutations and oxidative stress. 

Australian paw-paw

Perhaps better known for its delicious taste, it can come as a surprise to some people when they learn that paw-paw is actually crammed with compounds that promote skin health! Paw-paws contain vitamins A, C and E – a trio which works together to provide the nutrition skin needs to thrive. In addition to anti-oxidants, the paw-paw (also known as papaya) contains minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. These minerals all play a part in keeping skin healthy. 

Cocoa butter

The cocoa bean isn’t just a highly flavourful part of chocolate, it’s also a repository for a large number of compounds that can benefit the skin. Cocoa butter is the vegetable oil that’s extracted from the cocoa bean. Cocoa butter is an excellent moisturiser and also contains high numbers of antioxidants, helping to protect skin from the damage caused by oxidative agents such as sunlight and pollution. Many people find that cocoa butter can help to reduce the visibility of stretch marks, scars, wrinkles and other skin irregularities. It may also help improve blood flow to the skin, promoting the removal of waste products from cells as well as enhancing regeneration, repair and renewal. Cocoa butter forms a protective layer over the skin, helping it to stay hydrated. Modern life is tough on skin: central heating, air conditioning and harsh weather are all agents which can strip the skin of vital moisture. Cocoa butter can help, providing a well-tolerated, effective aid to moisturising and hydration.

Natural skincare that’s effective and safe

Our skincare products are made from high-quality plant extracts and compounds which have been shown to have a positive, beneficial effect on the skin. We source our ingredients with care, using certified organic options where possible. Proudly Australian, our ingredients are supplied by local providers. You won’t find “nasties” in our list of ingredients: we don’t use parabens, petroleum, formaldehyde or other damaging additives. Our aim is to provide plant-based, organic skincare products that are safe, gentle and effective.

As a compassionate company, we are against animal testing. We believe in our products, providing skincare solutions we’re happy to use on ourselves and our families. If you want to experience the powerful benefits which plant-based skincare can provide, something from our product selection should offer an optimal solution.

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