Essential Botanicals for the Beauty Industry

Herbs were used as an ancient remedy that can be traced back to the Egyptians and other ancient civilizations. Though herbs were initially used to flavor and preserve food, it wasn’t long before the uses for herbs expanded. Before making their way into skincare, herbs were used to scent perfumes and lotions. So, it wasn’t a big leap to start using different herbs as treatments for our largest organ, the skin.

The benefits of lavender and other herbs like rose petals, and jasmine go further than being flavorful or good for the body. When used in skincare, these herbs help soothe dry skin, replenish skin cells, treat hyperpigmentation, kill bacteria, reduce inflammation, and more. Not only do the herbs provide restoration to skin and hair, but herbal ingredients can also be used for color and to make products smell incredible without synthetic ingredients.

Using herbal formulas for skincare started in ancient civilizations. In Greece, people would use olive oil as a moisturizer and yogurt as a kind of facial mask. There were, of course, many other countries that used herbs and anything that grew naturally for skincare, in places like India, Korea, and other parts of Asia. These ancient techniques are particularly fascinating to people today who are looking to the past for natural treatments for skin and body care.

Right now natural skincare products are on the rise. In fact, 70% of the global market revenue within the skincare market comes from natural skincare products*. With the popularization of essential oils in the United States and other areas of the world, people in the West are now realizing that time-tested botanicals are the future of new skin & beauty products. A couple of notable trends in the beauty industry this year are the notion of cleanical skincare and fermented ingredients.

What is cleanical (clean + clinical) skincare? It means going beyond using only clean ingredients like herbs and botanical extracts in beauty products. The movement pushes for proof of the efficacy of those herbal formulas, knowing where ingredients are sourced, and an overall concern for sustainability.

We talked to herbalists to find out which botanicals are essential for skin and beauty products and what specific benefits these herbs provide.

Herbs for Moisturizing


While many herbs can help you achieve a beautiful, healthy glow, rose and calendula seem to be among the favorite herbal ingredients for hydrating skin. The calendula flower, also known as marigold, has been used for centuries for healing. In modern times it has been primarily used as an effective way to treat dry, chapped, or sunburned skin. Rose petals’ astringent qualities are beneficial for toning, tightening, and nourishing the skin. Rose can also be infused into oils and made into a soothing rose face mask or even to make a rose petal milk bath soak for extra nourishing and moisturizing properties. How to use rose petals is ultimately up to you since it is so versatile and can be found as an ingredient in so many different beauty products.

Herbs for Soothing Skin


Yarrow is not only a gorgeous, often colorful flower, but it’s also a great antiseptic herb that clears the skin of bacteria and prevents breakouts. Yarrow is often infused in soothing facial toners and oils for making various cosmetics, ointments, and lotions.

Botanicals to slow the signs of aging


Hibiscus is a good source of vitamin C, and it has natural alpha-hydroxy acids and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails–which keep people looking young and healthy. Like so many other botanicals, there are plenty of uses and benefits of hibiscus both in the cosmetics and culinary industries. Drinking teas and other plant infusions can help your skin as much as whatever you’re rubbing into it, which is why green tea is another expert favorite when it comes to anti-aging benefits. Green tea is added to so many beauty formulas because of its gorgeous smell and anti-aging properties. There are green tea face masks, make-up removers, moisturizers, and shampoos!

Herbs for Hair Health

Hair Health

Natural remedies for hair growth have long been coveted by consumers, and lucky for us, more and more studies show the growth benefits of herbs when used in hair. Rosemary extract’s antioxidant and antibacterial properties can help fight acne, help reduce the signs of aging and support healthy hair growth. Another herb that is valued for its potential hair-growth properties and incredible scent is lavender. The oil of lavender flowers is a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antiseptic that is used to make a variety of cosmetic products like floral water, facial toners, soap, shampoo, lotions, creams, and other personal care products. Lavender is one of the well-known herbs that may have the potential to boost hair growth.

Anti-inflammatory Herbs


Many people don’t realize how many herbal teas can be just as helpful when used topically. We have already covered green tea’s amazing effects, but chamomile is another tea that is a great, natural skin and face remedy, Chamomile is a popular natural ingredient in skin and hair care products. Its active ingredients include anti-inflammatory flavonoids and coumarin, which help prevent and reduce inflammation-related skin irritations including eczema and acne. Chamomile is great for people who have sensitive skin, especially if the effects are utilized by creating a floral facial steam or other recipes. Ingesting the tea can have similar calming effects on the rest of the body–making this tea the most versatile peacemaker.

Natural Herbal Scents & Perfumes

Aroma/Natural Scents

While most of the herbs listed have a wonderful natural aroma, there still emerge some expert and user favorites when it comes to scent–jasmine and lavender being at the top of most everyone’s list. Jasmine has a long history of being used in soaps and lotions to help moisturize the skin, bringing balance and elasticity. Its intoxicating smell is sweet, fruity, yet musky, making it a triple whammy of an ingredient to include in skin products and cosmetics. With all of the potential benefits, more companies are trying to figure out how to use jasmine in more natural beauty products. Lavender has already been referred to on this list a few times, proving how to use lavender is totally up to the consumer. Lavender is used by multiple industries for its potential healing properties, beautiful color, and calming fragrance. The purple flower and lavender oil are added to lotions, DIY lavender body butters, moisturizers, and more to not only add more beauty benefits but to make your face and body smell amazing!

Herbs for Acne Prevention

Acne Prevention

There are many herbs that can help soothe and moisturize, but it’s harder to find plants that naturally have the power to get rid of and prevent acne. Both spearmint and yarrow have properties that help get rid of those annoying breakouts without using harsh chemicals. Spearmint is a prolific herb known to be more potent than peppermint, with excellent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties make for a perfect facial cleanser, spearmint’s antibacterial qualities can help prevent acne when applied to the skin. Dried yarrow flowers can also be infused and used as an astringent to help reduce inflammation and redness caused by minor skin irritations like bug bites and blemishes. It's a great antiseptic herb that clears the skin of bacteria and prevents breakouts.

There is a reason natural products have such a hold on the skincare market today; people trust methods they can understand and that have been used for longer periods of time. Herbal ingredients are a large part of why natural skin and body care products are appealing. Not only do herbs like jasmine add a fruity, sweet smell to any lotion or soap, but it treats the skin as well. So, if you’re trying or making a new skin or body care product, whether anti-aging, wound-care or hair care, try one with natural, herbal ingredients and discover the possibilities that plants can bring to your products.