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SOS For Skin: The Search For Healing Solutions

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Natural Ingredients For Skin

Did you know next only to anti-aging, ‘skin healing’ saw the biggest growth as a beauty search term this past year? Google also reported an 800% (yes, that’s right) spurt in skin healing (think antidotes for redness, irritation, itching, cuts and burns) searches online. Not surprising actually, if you consider how skin procedures like derma-roller, micro needling, peels and lasers are in vogue. Add to that skin regenerating ingredients like acids and retinol that manifest as dry patches and sensitivity. All that ‘Stimulated Skin’ needs special care and there’s a slew of magical ingredients, some new and many old, that are being touted as the new kids on the block to regenerate collagen and elastin. So, what are the top skin healers out there? Many natural and even luxury brands are now turning to medically proven, century-old natural ingredients that offer a multitude of soothing benefits for everything from sensitivity and acne to eczema and itching. Here’s our list of the best ingredients that soothe, heal and nourish skin before, during and after skin treatments.

5 Best Natural Ingredients For Skincare

1. Aloe Vera

Best for: Treating sunburn, acne and psoriasis.

What is it? Who would have guessed that this odd-looking, succulent desert plant could offer a plethora of skin soothing benefits?

Why is it beneficial? Aoe vera is packed with active components, antioxidants and vitamins. Its especially rich in Vitamins A, C, E and B12. Plus, it has loads of inflammation-fighting enzymes, minerals and fatty acids. It also has antibacterial and soothing qualities, making it perfect for moisturising skin while eliminating skin infections.

How is it used in skincare? Besides having moisturising properties, Aloe vera has emollient and healing powers. It’s been used for centuries to treat sunburn, thanks to its regenerative properties. In Ayurvedic preparations, it’s a common ingredient in formulas that treat chronic skin conditions such as acne, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Our favorite picks: Nykaa Skin Secrets Tea Tree + Aloe Vera Sheet Mask, Aroma Treasures Aloe Vera Gel and Khadi Natural Hair Cleanser Neem & Aloe Vera.

2. Silver

Best for: Acne, wrinkles and environmental stress.

What is it? Tiny particles of colloidal silver suspended in pharmaceutical grade water.

Why is it beneficial? For centuries silver was revered for its incredible antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Before the introduction of antibiotics, it was used to treat antimicrobial conditions. Many studies have shown local application triggers healing effects on scarred and aging skin. It cleanses and nourishes wounds and in fact, even today, doctors often use silver-infused wound dressings.

How is it used in skincare? Colloidal silver has proven benefits in reducing oxidative stress, encouraging skin rejuvenation, and reducing fine lines, wrinkles and under-eye puffiness. Its antibacterial properties make it a superstar for combatting acne and calming inflammation.

Our favorite picks: Royalry Essentials Sliver Rose Skin Hydrator Face Oil, Vaadi Herbals Silver Face Pack - Pure Silver Dust & Lavender Oil and Alainne Facial Silver & Pearl Facial Kit Combo Pack.

3. Oatmeal

Best for: Itchy skin, clogged pores and oiliness

What is it: Ground oatmeal suspended in liquid.

Why is it beneficial? Oatmeal keeps skin hydrated by forming a lipid barrier that retains water in the skin. It contains saponins that gently exfoliate and cleanse skin, soothing, conditioning, and nourishing it, to alleviate skin dryness, inflammation and roughness. It has antioxidant properties thanks to the presence of different types of phenols, and also contains flavanoids that are strong UVA screens.  

How it is used in skincare? Since oatmeal is non-irritating and has low allergenic potential, it’s perfect for all skin types including sensitive and problem skin and chronic conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. It’s used to treat irritation and itching because of its ability to form a protective lipid layer on skin. Plus, its antioxidant properties make it perfect as a protection against free radical damage.

Our favorite picks: Lotus Herbals WhiteGlow Oatmeal & Yogurt Skin Whitening Scrub, St. Ives Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Wash and Donum Naturals Radiant Day Cream Oatmeal & Vitamin F With SPF 15.

4. Calendula

Best for: Wounds, eczema and rashes.

What is it? It’s extracted from marigold flowers (Calendula officinalis).

Why is it beneficial? Calendula has antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it a soothing option for healing wounds, soothing eczema, and relieving diaper rash. It also has antiseptic properties and in times gone by, marigold petals and leaves were directly applied to open wounds to disinfect and accelerate healing. As a skin conditioner, Calendula extract stimulates collagen production and reduces the occurrence of dry skin. 

How is it used in skincare? Calendula is rich in flavonoids and linoleic acid, which makes it an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial powerhouse. It’s often used as an active ingredient in skin creams and lotions because of its proven ability to fight inflammation and heal dry, inflamed and damaged skin.

Our favorite picks: The Face Shop Calendula Essential Moisture Serum, Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash and Mantra Herbal Saffron And Calendula Sun Cream.

5. Turmeric

Best for: Acne, open pores and inflammation.

What is it? This ancient golden spice is part of the ginger family and has been used for centuries to naturally cleanse and give a natural sheen to skin.

Why is it beneficial? Turmeric has a wide range of therapeutic and cosmetic benefits thanks to its active ingredient, curcumin, a natural antiseptic with antibacterial, ​antimicrobial and wound healing properties. It heals and prevents dry skin and is especially useful for healing acne, psoriasis and eczema. It’s also touted to boost collagen production and restore elasticity to skin. For centuries, milk and turmeric have been used to cleanse skin as part of a pre bridal ritual. 

How it is used in skincare? Turmeric has proven anti-inflammatory and skin lightening properties besides the ability to stimulates circulation, reduce under-eye puffiness and redness from blemishes.  An active ingredient in face masks, skin creams and even shampoos, turmeric has achieved cult status as anti-inflammatory powerhouse that heals and brightens skin.

Our favorite picks: Mamaearth Ubtan Face Wash With Turmeric & Saffron For Tan Removal 100ml, DearPacker Home Remedy Mask - Turmeric + Yogurt and Vedagiri Kasturi Manjal Wild Turmeric.

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