Botanicals have been used in medicine and skincare since the beginning of time. In fact, plants were the first things ever used as medicine and skincare, known for their powerful and natural healing properties, but what does the term botanical exactly mean?
What does Botanical mean?
The term botanical is the noun used to describe a substance obtained from a plant and used typically in medicinal or cosmetic products. This could be a plant extract, the oil from a plant or just any part of the plant itself, including the leaf, stem, root and petals.
A few common botanicals can be found in many skincare products. Today we're going to focus on six of the most popular botanicals in some of our Skin Library products - how they help skin concerns and what they do for the skin.
Perhaps the most common one of all, we have an entire edit dedicated to what is commonly known as Cica or Tiger Grass. It's gained a lot of popularity in the skincare field recently, and there's no surprise why. It is a super ingredient indigenous to many parts of Asia and South East Asia, and it does wonders for the skin.
The active compounds in this ingredient are Asiaticoside, Madecassoside, Asiatic and Madecassic acids. These active compounds found in Centella promote a whole list of healing properties such as speeds up wound healing, stimulates collagen production, it has anti-inflammatory properties, is super-rich in antioxidants, it helps with hyperpigmentation, it improves skin texture, it even has antimicrobial properties, which make it great for acne-prone skin.
The Beplain Cicaful Ampoule is Beplain's best-seller as it uses Centella Asiatica as the hero ingredient in the product. With 84.28% Centella, it soothes, hydrates and calms irritated skin while taking care of the all-important skin barrier.
You might be familiar with elderflower to drink as a refreshing, sparkling spritzer in the summertime. Its delicate flavour might go perfectly with a hint of sweetness, but did you know it's also a powerhouse in the skincare game?
Anthocyanins (a flavonoid-rich in antioxidants) are present in elderberries and flower naturally protects against skin damage and hyperpigmentation. It is also packed with vitamins A, B, C, and E, all known to help skin health overall. Not only is it refreshing to drink, but it's refreshing on the skin too. In medicine, it is used for throat and nose issues such as flu, sinusitis and common colds for its high vitamin content and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties also help to soothe skin inflammations.
The Acwell pH Balancing Bubble Free Cleansing Gel harnesses the power of elderflower extract to help soften skin as you cleanse it, leaving it with a soft and supple appearance. As it is formulated alongside 8 different forms of Hyaluronic Acid, this cleanser is dedicated to softening and hydrating the skin while giving your face a fresh cleanse.
Acwell has given Liquorice Root a place in the hall of skincare fame with their bestselling Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner, which sells out time and time again. In fact, their entire Licorice range is known as products that actually work, and that's thanks to the power of this key ingredient.
Liquorice root contains a compound called glycyrrhizin which has antimicrobial properties and anti-ageing properties, and it is a rich source of antioxidants. Those with dark spots, rosacea, some types of acne and dermatitis might find using products containing Liquorice root extract helps as it is well known for its soothing and brightening properties.
Glabridin is also found in liquorice root extract and fights those free radicals which cause hyperpigmentation, such as sun damage from UVB rays.
A great way to incorporate Liquorice Root extract into your skincare routine is through misting. The Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist is an ultra-fine facial mist rich in nutrients to brighten and refresh skin with its milky light texture. This mist is mildly acidic (pH 4-6) to help balance your skin's pH. It features its key ingredient, Liquorice Water (10%), to soothe, brighten and moisturise skin. You can spritz it on throughout the day or spray some on straight after cleansing before the next steps in your routine.
Native to South-East Asia, Heartleaf is a super ingredient for sensitive skin as it is known for its soothing and hydrating properties. It has grown in popularity recently in East Asian skincare and is popular for its polyphenolic flavonoids. The four main types found in Heartleaf are Quercetin, Quercitrin, Hyperoside and Rutin. These compounds are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial.
Heartleaf also serves as a natural humectant (moisture retainer) which is excellent for gentle hydration and calming irritated skin. Another of heartleaf's properties is that it also has astringent properties, which gently cleanses pores without being harsh on the skin.
For an occasional facial treatment, try the ABIB Mild Acidic pH Sheet Mask Heartleaf Fit as it helps to balance the skin's pH to make sure that the skin is calm. This sheet mask is specially made alongside Albam (Albumin + Bamboo) material to tighten the skin, improve skin elasticity, and 88% of the heartleaf extract (Houttuynia Cordata Extract) is sourced from Mountain Jiri in Korea.
The bright yellow and orange petals of this perennial are just as beautiful to look at as they are a beautiful ingredient for your skin. Extract of Calendula comes from the leaves, petals, and seeds and has traditionally been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine.
It's also used in Western medicine to treat ulcers, prevent muscle spasms and reduce fevers. It is naturally high in antioxidants, ensuring collagen production and elastin are in good supply. The flower is rich in flavonoids, saponins, and triterpenoids, all of which are compounds in the plant that calm the body's production of histamines, contributing to its anti-inflammatory properties. Histamines cause irritation, rashes and breakouts. That said, the ingredient is gentle enough to be used alongside other actives such as Salicylic Acid.
The Axis-Y Quinoa One Step Balanced Gel Cleanser uses Calendula alongside Centella Asiatica to speed up the healing process but gently hydrates as it cleans the skin.
Bamboo is a common plant found native to Asia and well known for its beauty and strength - many modern Asian countries use Bamboo as the prime material for scaffolding frames to this day as it is a strong and versatile plant. But how much did you know about Bamboo in skincare?
The water inside Bamboo is a super ingredient when it comes to skincare. It improves skin strength as it contains up to 70% of natural silica, the ingredient that makes up collagen in our skin and prevents skin from sagging or becoming hollow. It has antibacterial properties, and similar to Hyaluronic Acid, Bamboo water contains Glycosaminoglycans (large molecules that bind nearly 1000x their weight in water.)
If you have acne or sensitive skin, it is a great calming ingredient, especially when used alongside more powerful acne-fighting ingredients. It's a soothing ingredient that suits every skin type and will not interfere with other, more specific skin treatments such as acne treatments.
The Keep Cool Soothe Bamboo Toner contains 85% Bamboo-derived water, which balances and calms your skin while giving your skin that extra hydration. With a pH of 5.5, it complements the skin's natural pH and is a refreshing toner that will leave your skin cool, hydrated and plump.
Takeaway: When researching skincare, botanically-derived ingredients are commonly featured. Known for their breadth of medicinal, healing and soothing properties, botanicals are often the answer to many skin concerns. Becoming acquainted with different botanical ingredients means you'll know which ones to look out for when researching products for your skin.
- By Jacinta R