You probably don’t know it, but you can harvest great skincare ingredients right from your garden, whether they’re outdoors or indoors. We’ve gathered some of our favorite plants that can help skin stay glowing and healthy in the most natural ways possible! This is a long article, so strap in!
The information provided in this article regarding the use of plants for skincare is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The use of plants for skincare should always be done with caution, and individuals should be aware of any potential allergies or reactions they may have to specific plants.
Before using any plant-based skincare product, it is recommended that individuals consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist. The owners and operators of this website are not responsible for any adverse reactions or consequences that may result from the use of plants for skincare.
With that out of the way, let’s get right into the list with our first plant.
We all know this is going on the list, so we’ve placed it on top. Aloe vera has been known for centuries for its healing and moisturizing properties. If it was good enough for Cleopatra, it’s good enough for us!
Why Aloe Vera is Good for Your Skin
Aloe vera contains polysaccharides that help retain moisture in the skin while soothing away redness and irritation. Its organic compounds, called anthraquinones, have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Plus, it contains enzymes that exfoliate the skin by removing dead skin cells and promoting skin turnover in the process.
On top of that, this prickly plant is also known to be rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which are all amazing antioxidants that help protect our skin from environmental damage. Minerals, such as zinc and magnesium, are also found in aloe vera. These are known to nourish and strengthen the skin.
How to Use Aloe Vera in Skincare
As a natural moisturizer, slice open a leaf and scoop out the pure aloe vera gel inside. This gel is lightweight yet hydrating, absorbing quickly into your pores without clogging them. You can also use the gel to treat sunburned skin, soothing and reducing any inflammation.
The gel is also great for acne-prone skin, as it helps prevent bacterial growth on the skin while reducing redness and inflammation. You can even apply some under your eyes to reduce puffiness and dark circles.
We have to admit we use aloe vera gel as part of our skincare routine. We mix some of the gel with other ingredients to make a hydrating face mask, apply it on our face and neck, leave the mask on for about 15 minutes, and then wash it off. Try pairing it with honey, oatmeal, avocado, or even bananas for some skin nourishment and moisture.
Aloe Vera Growing Tips
Plant aloe vera in well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes in an area that receives bright indirect lighting. We recommend watering the plant deeply but infrequently so that its soil dries out a bit in between. It’s so low-maintenance that you can ignore it for weeks and it’ll still keep on growing!
It was a tough race between cucumber and aloe vera, but we had to give points to the latter since it was a beloved ancient practice that still survives to this very day. We all know cucumber belongs in salads, as well as on our skin, so let’s find out the reasons for its benefits.
Why Cucumber is Good for Your Skin
Cucumbers are a great source of vitamin C, which helps protect the skin from damage caused by environmental stressors like UV rays and pollution. Vitamin C also helps promote collagen production, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in our skin.
Cucumbers also have caffeic acid, which is a polyphenol that has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe and reduce redness and irritation in the skin. Fisetin is a flavonoid found in cucumbers that has antioxidant properties, preventing the skin from premature aging.
Silica is another compound that is abundant in cucumbers. It helps strengthen the skin’s connective tissues, which can help improve skin elasticity. And finally, cucumbers are mostly made up of water, helping us stay hydrated internally, which can be evident in the suppleness of our skin.
How to Use Cucumber in Skincare
You know this one’s coming: cucumber slices to reduce eye puffiness and dark circles around the eyes. You can also blend or grate cucumbers with plain yogurt or honey and then apply the mask for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
Right after the refreshing mask, you can use your cucumber toner to calm your skin. To make the toner, blend or juice cucumbers and use the liquid as your toner or face mist to help balance your skin pH and soothe any irritations.
You can also go for a cucumber and sugar body scrub by mixing both with some olive oil. The sugar will help take off dead skin cells while the cucumbers hydrate and soothe your skin. You can even follow the scrub with a blend of cucumber and aloe vera gel as a moisturizer.
Cucumber Growing Tips
While they can be grown indoors, cucumbers prefer outdoors where they can get at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. If growing indoors, consider supplementing with a grow light to hit their lighting needs. Grow them in rich, moist, well-draining soil and fertilize them often with organic matter, such as compost. To encourage bushy growth, pinch off the first few flowers that appear on the plant.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Maybe Shakespeare knew the power of the rose on our senses so he wrote it in his play, and now we see why!
Why Rose is Good for Your Skin
Roses have phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants that help reduce skin inflammation and protect against environmental stressors and free radicals. Flavonoids are also present, which shield skin from UV damage. Tannins, on the other hand, improve the skin by tightening and firming it, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles being less visible.
Rose essential oil contains several beneficial compounds, two of which are geraniol and citronellol. These two are known to be antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and skin-soothing, making them the perfect ingredients for many skincare products that target sensitive skin.
How to Use Rose in Skincare
Rose water and rose oil are popular skincare ingredients due to their hydrating and soothing properties. While making essential rose oil is complicated, rose water is less so. To make rose water toner, steep clean rose petals in boiling water for several minutes and allow them to cool before placing the liquid in a bottle. Alternatively, you can use rose water as a facial mist.
If you like hydrating, soothing, floral face masks, then mash some clean rose petals with some honey or yogurt. Apply and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water. We like doing this mask while tossing a handful of rose petals into our warm bath for some rest and relaxation!
Rose Growing Tips
Keep your roses in well-draining, slightly acidic soil and full sunlight. Place them in a container that has good drainage and in a location with lots of bright sunlight. Plant roses in the spring or fall, and make sure to water them regularly during their first growing season to help establish their roots.
Make sure you give your roses some plant food regularly during the growing season so they can grow strong and produce healthy blooms and foliage. Also, don’t forget to do some pruning in late winter or early spring to encourage healthy growth and get rid of any dead or diseased branches. Trust us, your roses will thank you for the TLC!
We love lavender for its color and scent, but we love it even more for its skin benefits. It grows best outdoors but, with a bit of effort, you can successfully grow some indoors. Allow this relaxing plant to calm and soothe your body and mind as you take time for some self-care.
Why Lavender is Good for Your Skin
Lavender contains linalool, which gives the plant its characteristic scent. This anti-inflammatory and analgesic compound soothes and reduces redness and irritation in the skin. Linalyl acetate is also present, which prevents bacteria and fungi in acne and other skin infections from growing and spreading.
Camphor is another great antibacterial compound that soothes and cools our skin, relieving itching and irritation. Geraniol protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals while borneol helps prevent acne and other skin infections due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to Use Lavender in Skincare
Lavender flowers can be added as infusions for toners and facial mists. Simply steep a handful of dried lavender buds in a cup of boiling water. After 10 or 15 minutes, strain the liquid and transfer it to a spray bottle, which you can use as part of your skincare throughout the day.
Another way to use the calming power of lavender flowers is through a homemade face mask. Combine with other natural ingredients, such as honey, and apply on the face for about 10 to 15 minutes. The soothing but active ingredients in lavender can help moisturize and soothe the skin while keeping acne at bay.
If baths are your thing, then add some dried lavender flowers to hot or warm water. If you don’t have enough, then you might want to get a bottle of essential lavender oil to help you soothe your skin while relaxing your body and mind. Lavender oil is known to help improve blood circulation, which can promote a healthy, glowing complexion.
Lavender Growing Tips
This Mediterranean plant thrives in full sunlight and well-draining soil. Since it’s pretty much used to drier conditions, do not overwater lavender plants as it can cause root rot. Drought-resistant and bushy, it benefits from regular pruning. Plus, you can grow this indoors as long as you provide it with the right amount of light, temperature, and water.
Small and cheery, this relative of the daisy is famous for its soothing properties, both in scent and on the skin. Chamomile is so easy to grow that it’s almost a crime if you can’t cultivate any!
Why Chamomile is Good for Your Skin
Chamomile is amazing for your skin since it has flavonoids, terpenoids, and alpha-bisabolol. Now, flavonoids like apigenin, quercetin, and luteolin, are like bodyguards for your skin, protecting it from nasty free radicals that can make it look old before its time. Terpenoids, like chamazulene, give chamomile oil its cool blue color and can also help calm irritated skin.
Plus, there’s alpha-bisabolol, another terpene that’s super helpful for protecting and soothing the skin. It’s been shown to be especially good for treating eczema and other skin conditions. Chamomile also has some other good-for-your-skin compounds, like coumarins, sesquiterpenes, and mucilage, which can all help hydrate and protect your skin.
How to Use Chamomile in Skincare
Like lavender, chamomile can be used to make toners and facial mists. Brew chamomile tea or flowers for 15 minutes, let cool, and strain into a clean bottle sprayer. Better yet, you can pair it with lavender for that ultimate stressed-skin reliever!
You can also steam your skin with chamomile. Simply boil a pot of water, add a handful of chamomile flowers, and then cover your head with a towel and lean over the pot. Inhale the steam for a few minutes to open up your pores and help detoxify your skin.
Finally, you can make a homemade chamomile face mask. Mix chamomile flowers with honey and oatmeal to create a nourishing face mask. Apply the mixture to your face, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then rinse off with warm water. This mask can help moisturize and brighten your skin.
Chamomile Growing Tips
Grow chamomile in moist, well-draining soil and moderate sunlight. While it can be grown indoors, as well as outdoors, it is important to give the plant its required amount of light, temperature, and watering. You can easily sow the seeds directly into the soil and harvest them when the flowers are fully open, which usually happens in the summer months.
Some find the flower a little pungent, but we like its strong floral scent. Calendula is a known companion plant that deters pests, so we’re not surprised that it also fights inflammation and other skin disorders!
Why Calendula is Good for Your Skin
Known for their anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, calendula plants are beloved in the skincare world. The plant is rich in flavonoids that fight skin aging while triterpenoids keep skin redness and inflammation away.
Carotenoids are also found in calendula, which explains why they’re often used to help brighten and even out skin tones. On top of these skin-boosting compounds, polysaccharides bring calm and hydration to the skin, making it perfect for people with dry or sensitive skin.
How to Use Calendula in Skincare
Olive, coconut, or sweet almond oils make the perfect carrier oils for calendula flowers to steep in. Place the flowers and the oil in a dry and clean jar and leave it in a warm and sunny spot for three to four weeks. Strain the mix and use the oil as a moisturizer or for aromatherapy or massage.
You can make a calendula salve by melting beeswax and coconut oil in a double broiler and then adding your calendula-infused oil into the mix. Stir until well-combined and then pour into small jars and allow to cool and solidify. You can now use the balm for cuts, scrapes, insect bites, and other skin irritations.
You can also make calendula-infused water for toners and facial mists by steeping the flowers for a few minutes, straining the mix, and pouring the liquid into bottle sprays. For a calming and hydrating face mask, combine dried calendula flowers with honey or yogurt, apply on the face, and rinse the mask off after 15 minutes.
Calendula Growing Tips
Calendula plants can be grown from seeds; provide them with at least six hours of full sunlight and well-draining soil so that you can harvest the blooms by summer. Take off the spent flowers often so that the plant is encouraged to grow more flowers. This drought-tolerant plant can be grown in containers, so you can bring them indoors during winter.
Mint and Peppermint
We really wanted to keep them separate, but they’re just too alike that we thought they’d be perfect as a single entry. Cooling and soothing, these herbs aren’t just good for tea. They can help tired skin with their trademark sensation, so grow these for their multiple health benefits!
Why Mint and Peppermint are Good for Your Skin
Both herbs contain menthol, menthone, and rosmarinic acid, which are all cooling and soothing compounds found in many minty plants on this list. Menthol is a natural cooling antiseptic and antimicrobial agent that can help soothe and refresh the skin, making it a popular ingredient in skincare products for acne-prone or oily skin.
Menthone is another compound found in peppermint that has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. On the other hand, rosmarinic acid is a potent antioxidant found in peppermint that can help protect the skin from environmental stressors like pollution and UV rays.
Mint has additional compounds that make it ideal for skincare use. Salicylic acid has exfoliating properties that can help unclog pores and prevent acne while vitamin C can help protect the skin from free radicals and environmental stressors. Vitamin C can also help brighten and even out skin tone.
How to Use Mint and Peppermint in Skincare
You can make a toner with mint or peppermint leaves and water by steeping a handful of fresh leaves in hot water for a few minutes, then straining the liquid and letting it cool before placing it inside a bottle. We also love using it as a refreshing face mist during hot summers!
Cool off with a mint or peppermint face mask. You can make a face mask with the minty leaves and other ingredients like honey, yogurt, or clay. Blend the ingredients together into a smooth paste, then apply the mask to your face and rinse after 15 minutes. You can even add some of the leaves in a warm bath and soak your cares away!
To top off the whole experience, you can infuse mint or peppermint leaves into carrier oils like olive oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil. Chop up a handful of fresh peppermint leaves and place them in a jar with the carrier oil and allow the mixture to sit for a few days, shaking it occasionally, then strain out the leaves. We love to use it as a massage oil after a long, tiring day.
Mint and Peppermint Growing Tips
Both mint and peppermint are hardy, fast-growing plants that can quickly take over a garden bed, so keep them in containers and pots unless you want them running rampant. Both herbs prefer rich, moist, well-draining soil and partial shade, so you can easily grow them indoors, as well as outdoors.
Beloved in the kitchen, this herb has surprising benefits that most people aren’t aware of. The next time you harvest their leaves, keep some for your skincare needs!
Why Sage is Good for Your Skin
Sage contains rosmarinic acid, which is anti-inflammatory and prevents skin from damage and redness. Another important ingredient is ursolic acid, which has been shown to have anti-aging properties by stimulating collagen producing and improving skin elasticity.
Camphor is another soothing and cooling ingredient while tannins tighten and tone the skin, reducing the appearance of skin pores and improving the overall texture of the skin. Finally, alpha- and beta-thujone compounds prevent and treat acne due to their antiseptic and microbial properties.
How to Use Sage in Skincare
We love some sage toner, and here’s how you make them. Steep fresh or dried sage leaves in boiling water, strain the mix, and let cool before pouring the liquid into a bottle as a toner or face mist. But if you like to open your pores and soothe irritated skin first, go ahead and inhale some of that sage steam!
To make sage-infused oil, combine fresh or dried sage leaves with jojoba or almond oil in a jar and let it sit in a warm sunny spot for three to four weeks. Strain it and use it as a facial or massage oil. A sage face mask works well to soothe and moisturize the skin. Simply mix the leaves with some honey and aloe vera gel, apply it for 15 minutes, and rinse with warm water.
Sage Growing Tips
Keep this herb in well-draining soil and in an area that receives full sunlight. Prune sage regularly to prevent leggy stems and encourage bushy growth. If you live in colder climates, keep sage in pots and bring them indoors during the winter to protect it from frost.
We bet you only thought to use this herb for cooking, but it has fantastic skincare properties as well. It’s been known to stimulate blood circulation and reduce inflammation, so you might want to use it for a quick pick-me-up!
Why Rosemary is Good for Your Skin
Rosemary has carnosic acid, which is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals that accelerate the aging process. It also has rosmarinic acid, named for the herb, which reduces redness and swelling in the skin. Another anti-aging compound, ursolic acid, helps stimulate collagen and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The cooling and soothing effect of camphor reduces skin itching and irritation while improving the circulation in the skin. And finally, alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, which are antibacterial and antifungal compounds, combat acne and other skin infections.
How to Use Rosemary in Skincare
There are so many ways to incorporate rosemary into skincare, and one of these is to make rosemary-infused oil. Combine fresh or dried rosemary sprigs with olive or jojoba oil in a dry, clean jar. Let it sit in a sunny spot for about three to four weeks, strain the mix, and use it as a moisturizer or massage oil.
For that tingly steam facial, boil a pot of water and add a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs. Turn off the heat, drape a towel over your head, and lean over the pot to allow the steam to gently cleanse and reinvigorate your skin. You can even use the remaining liquid as a toner or facial mist.
But if you’re going for a refreshing face mask, combine a tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves, a tablespoon of honey, and a tablespoon of plain yogurt in a blender. Mix until smooth, apply on your face, and wash it off with warm water after 15 minutes!
Rosemary Growing Tips
Another Mediterranean native, rosemary plants thrive when grown in well-draining soil and get at least six to eight hours of full sunlight. Water it regularly but avoid overwatering as it can easily lead to root rot. Prune it often to encourage bushy growth, whether indoors or outdoors.
We love adding this versatile herb to our dishes, but we also keep some for our skin. If you’re curious about how this fragrant plant can be used for skincare, wonder no more!
Why Thyme is Good for Your Skin
Thyme contains several compounds that are beneficial for skin care, including thymol, carvacrol, and rosmarinic acid. Thymol is a natural antiseptic and has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which makes it useful in treating acne and other skin infections.
Carvacrol is also an antiseptic and has antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it useful in treating acne and other skin infections. Being anti-inflammatory in nature, rosmarinic acid is an antioxidant that can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals.
How to Use Thyme in Skincare
Thyme-infused oil can be used as a facial or massage oil or even added to homemade skincare products. You can make it by gently heating olive, jojoba, or sweet almond oil in a saucepan, and adding a handful of fresh thyme sprigs. Let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes and then strain the oil and store it in a clean, airtight container.
A thyme toner can help balance the skin’s pH and prevent acne. To make this you’ll need to steep a handful of fresh thyme sprigs in boiling water for 15 minutes, strain the liquid, and let it cool. Apply the toner to your face with a cotton ball or pad after cleansing. Alternatively, you can inhale the steam for about 10 minutes to help open up the pores in your skin.
Thyme masks exfoliate and purify the skin. To make your own, mix a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves with a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of finely ground oats. Apply the mixture to your face and let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Thyme Growing Tips
Thyme is a hardy perennial herb that can tolerate some neglect, making it a great choice for beginner gardeners. Keep it healthy by exposing it to at least six hours of direct sunlight each day and grow it in moist, well-draining soil. Avoid overwatering and prune regularly to promote bushy growth.
Best Plants For Skincare
Plants are more than just pretty to look at, they also provide a number of health and skincare benefits. We hope the above has inspired you to look for more natural ways to help keep your body and skin healthy.
Just to reiterate, none of the above should be taken as medical advice and you should always consult with your doctor before starting a new skincare routine. While the above is a great guide, nothing can replace the expertise of a medical professional.