Beauty Features

A Natural Approach to Skin Care

Experts extol the virtues of plant-based diets for good internal health, so it makes sense that your skin also can benefit from products with natural origins. Topical preparations from earthly sources can offer helpful advantages like blocking ultraviolet radiation, fighting irritation and improving skin’s appearance. Here are some ingredients manufactured by Mother Nature that can help your skin look and feel healthier.

silymarin
This versatile substance is derived from milk thistle, a flowering herb from the daisy and ragweed family. “Silymarin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and it fights the breakdown of collagen as we age, so skin stays more supple,” says Dr. Amy Miller, owner and medical director of St. Louis Skin Solutions in Des Peres. “It’s also helpful in blocking the effects of ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B light when combined with titanium or zinc oxide in a sunscreen.” Miller says silymarin also has been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation and brighten skin’s appearance.

vitamin c
Clean skin care company Beautycounter calls this vitamin the ‘holy grail’ of healthy skin, according to consultant Karyn Williams. The two forms of ultra-stable vitamin C used in its All-Bright C Serum can brighten skin’s appearance upon application, boost natural collagen production, and defend against environmental pollutants, free radicals and other threats that contribute to damage and discoloration. The serum combines vitamin C with turmeric root and camu camu fruit extract to freshen skin tone and reduce dark spots.

iron oxide
“This ingredient also can be added to sunscreen,” Miller says. “It helps prevent damage from visible blue light emitted by electronics. With the use of phones, tablets and computers always on the rise, we constantly are exposed to blue light that contributes to hyperpigmentation problems like melasma. For years, doctors have told people to protect themselves from the sun’s UV rays, but it turns out that staying in and working at a screen may be just as harmful.”

knotgrass extract
This herbal extract can help combat fine lines and improve skin’s texture and firmness. It also prevents sun damage by protecting the skin against UV radiation. Beautycounter’s Skin Twin Creamy Concealer combines knotgrass extract with avocado butter to hydrate and reduce the appearance of imperfections.

niacinamide
This vitamin B3 derivative has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, according to Miller. “It can be added to topical preparations to calm the skin in cases of acne and rosacea, and it also helps reduce hyperpigmentation,” she notes.

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