When it comes to skincare and anything dealing with beauty, you’ll hear the term “botanicals.” But what are they exactly and why are they so commonplace in the majority of products we buy? There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to botanicals, especially when it comes to our skincare products.
When we think of botanicals, we often think of flowers. The word “botanical” is a term used to describe products made from plants or herbs. This can also include seeds, roots and berries. Botanicals have been in use since the beginning of time, from therapeutic and medicinal purposes to cosmetic and skincare uses.
Women have become huge fans of botanicals not only because of their signature fragrances but also because they provide a more natural way to taking care of our skin without the aid of strangely concocted ingredients with names we can’t pronounce. The creation of botanicals for skincare purposes involves a combination of skincare science technology and Mother Nature. Because botanicals are made from natural plant-based and organic ingredients, they contain no artificial additives, unnecessary colorings, harsh chemicals or harmful preservatives. However, those natural goodies alone aren’t enough for botanicals to truly do their jobs when it comes to skincare products. That’s where the skincare science comes in.
Just because some science is involved in botanical-based skincare, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still all natural. The science used helps to manipulate the botanicals’ natural properties in a way that will make it work with a product’s formula. In order to apply a botanical to a skincare product, chemists extract the botanical in powder or liquid form from the plant’s leaves, seeds, stem, bark or root. For the best botanical extract/oil to be produced, water or steam is added to create the distillation process. Once the distillation process is completed, the essential oil is separated from the water. Now it is ready to be added properly to the skincare product. Botanicals are great for skincare because they contain naturally occurring cleansing and astringent properties.
The most common botanicals used in skincare include lavender, aloe, chamomile and comfrey. Anytime you read one of these ingredients on the label of a product, you know your skin will be getting great botanical benefits. Each botanical comes with its own special purpose. For example, juniper berry botanicals are commonly used as an astringent, while grapefruit botanicals are excellent for use on oily skin, as well as possessing skin-firming properties. Chamomile is the ideal natural skin cleanser because it contains a chemical called azulene, which works to effectively eliminate impurities from the pores of the skin.
Of course just because you buy a skincare product that contains one or more of these botanicals, that does not necessarily make it a natural skincare product. There is a difference between your favorite products that have botanical ingredients and those that are organically made with botanicals. Be sure to read the labels and know exactly which one you are purchasing. Organic skincare products made with botanicals are guaranteed to not contain any herbicides, pesticides or other components that could potentially cause allergic skin reactions or skin irritations. This information is important for those with special skin conditions or who have sensitive skin types.
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