4 Excellent Plant-Based Skincare Ingredients
Posted September 2022
Written by Jamie Barrows
Whether you are a strong advocate for skincare or just keep it simple with soap and a moisturizer, you’ve likely been hearing a lot of buzz words lately. The clean beauty movement has seen substantial growth thanks to Gen Z and Millennials, along with words like plant-based, all-natural, and vegan. The problem with these words is that they are not heavily regulated. When the average consumer sees them advertised on skincare packaging, they often assume the product is safe and effective.
The truth about natural, plant-based skincare ingredients is that they are not all created equal. While consumers feel most comfortable buying products with ingredients that they recognize and that are derived from our natural landscape, some of them are not safe or sustainably sourced. Below, our team of experts in Research and Development has put together a list of the safest and most effective plant-based skincare ingredients. These are ingredients that, if ethically sourced, can provide you with ease of mind in the checkout line.
Have you ever heard anyone say anything bad about aloe? Of course not! That’s because it has been used for centuries for its many benefits. Aloe vera gel has been famously used to treat and speed up the healing of burns. According to some studies, it is also said to retain skin moisture, treat psoriasis and acne, and even reduce the risk of infections. This is all due to its antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties.
Our Top Pick for Aloe Vera Soap: Forever Living Aloe Avocado Face & Body Soap
Jojoba oil is one of those skincare ingredients you’ve definitely heard of – but what is it? The oil (which is a wax ester; a fatty acid plus a fatty alcohol) is extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant, a shrub native to the southwestern United States. This awesome ingredient is so popular because its chemical makeup is nearly identical to our skin’s sebum, an oily substance essential for skin hydration and protection. Because of this close match, jojoba oil it is known to have skin-balancing abilities.
Jojoba is incredibly versatile as it can be adapted for many different formats, including oil, butter, and even beads. Jojoba beads can be filled with other active ingredients, which then disappear completely when rubbed into the skin, leaving it feeling soft and moisturized. In addition to these benefits, jojoba is also extremely shelf-stable, meaning you can use many jojoba-forward skincare items without worrying about harsh preservatives.
Our Top Pick for Jojoba Soap: CeraVe SA Cleanser Bar for Rough & Bumpy Skin
Green Tea Leaf
One of our favorite skincare ingredients lies in green tea leaf and extract. This popular plant-derived additive has plenty of well-documented research regarding its topical benefits – from reducing inflammation to protection against UV rays. Many personal and skincare companies choose green tea for their products because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, its ability to smooth skin and aid in the reduction of skin conditions such as acne. Green tea is one of those genuinely natural botanicals that we just can’t get enough of.
Our Top Pick for Green Tea Soap: Shea Moisture Olive and Green Tea Shea Butter Soap
Lavender is a natural powerhouse for skin care, like our other favorite plant-based ingredients. It has been used in cleansers, cosmetics, essential oils, and aromatherapy products for decades, and a good reason. When our skin is exposed to pollution, sun, smoke, and more, it is taking on damage. Lavender is a natural antioxidant that can protect your microbiome from these harmful free radicals when applied to the skin.
Lavender is also a mild antifungal and antibacterial botanical. In addition to protecting the skin, it has some effectiveness in treating mild cases of acne and blemishes and promoting the healing of wounds. Believe it or not, there has even been one study that suggested that lavender oil can promote hair growth by increasing hair follicle numbers and increasing their depth.
Our Top Pick for Lavender Soap: Dr. Bronner All-One Hemp Lavender Bar
There are many reasons to choose plant-based ingredients but be sure to do some research when selecting ones that suit your skin needs. Like plant foraging in the wild, not all plants are good for you. Not all plant-based ingredients are meant for our skin’s microbiome. The botanicals included here are well-backed by research studies and have stood the test of time. ●
“Aloe Vera.” NCCIH, www.nccih.nih.gov/health/aloe-vera
Ames, Hana. “How to Use Lavender Oil for the Skin.” Medical News Today, 25 Sept. 2020, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/lavender-oil-for-skin#benefits
Katiyar, Santosh. “Skin Photoprotection by Green Tea: Antioxidant and Immunomodulato...: Ingenta Connect.” National Library of Medicine, Bentham Science Publishers, 3 Sept. 2003, www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cdtiemd/2003/00000003/00000003/art00008?token=005d15c43386d4e7247444f6d62222c227e372530542972715a614f7e41225f407b762c49632176773b77503aff26
“Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Explained + Products).” INCIDecoder, www.incidecoder.com/ingredients/simmondsia-chinensis-seed-oil