In today’s world, despite scientific advance in treatments for skin problems, many people prefer to rely on both natural ingredients and home remedies. These remedies are preferred because they are readily available, easy to use, are gentle on the skin, and avoid the use of harsh chemicals.
Most natural ingredients are botanicals, derived from plants. In many cases, conclusive scientific evidence of their effectiveness does not exist. However, many of these remedies have survived the test of time as they have been passed down from one generation to the next.
Aloe vera is a plant that grows across the globe and is used in a variety of cosmetic and hair products. It has also been used extensively to treat a range of skin problems. The aloe vera plant is rich in mucopolysaccarides, amino acids, enzymes, and various minerals.
Aloe vera has been shown to reduce inflammation in the skin, so it is widely used in much the same way as cortisone-containing creams, which also reduce inflammation. The ability of aloe to reduce inflammation is the reason that it is used to soothe conditions in which inflammation, redness, and itching are a key component.
So the aloe plant is used for conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as superficial burns and poison ivy. Aloe vera has also been found to possess antibiotic and antiviral properties, which explains its use for treating minor skin infections. It is because of these properties that aloe is a popular ingredient in soaps, lotions, sunscreens, shampoos, and conditioners.
Baking soda, which is the alkaline chemical sodium bicarbonate, is a more natural and gentle ingredient used to treat several types of odor. You may be familiar with using baking soda in your refrigerator to absorb unpleasant food odors.
Baking soda has also been used as an underarm deodorant, a foot deodorant sprinkled into shoes, and as a mouthwash. It can remove strong odors such as onions and garlic from hands. When mixed with hydrogen peroxide, it has been used as toothpaste. When rubbed on elbows and knees, it can produce soft, smooth skin.
Finally baking soda may be used to soothe irritated and eczema-prone skin as well as to calm superficial burns.
Cocoa butter is actually a fat that is derived from the beans of the cocoa plant. It is best known as the ingredient that gives chocolate its flavor. Cocoa butter has been widely used in a variety of skin care products, but it is primarily used as a moisturizing ingredient for dry skin and as a treatment for itchy skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.
It is formulated in lotions, oils, and creams as a general moisturizer and to maintain soft and smooth skin. Cocoa butter is a frequently used home remedy for the treatment of stretch marks during pregnancy. For individuals with darker skin tones, it is often used to lighten dark marks and discolorations on the skin. Some people use cocoa butter to soothe their sunburned skin.
Green tea has become known as a very potent antioxidant. Antioxidants have the potential of calming inflammation in the skin and protecting from sunburn and skin cancer. The protective effects of the green tea have been achieved by drinking the tea as well as applying it topically to the skin.
Milk, which is rich in fat, protein, and lactic acid, has been used on the skin for its beautifying and anti-inflammatory properties. Milk baths or milk-containing cleansers have been used for gentle, soap-free skin cleansing. The alpha hydroxyl acid component of milk has popularized milk baths as a quick and easy way to soften the skin and remove the dead layers of skin.
Silky, smooth skin will be revealed with this easy beautification technique. Finally, milk compresses applied to itchy and irritated skin will relieve the itching quickly due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Oatmeal is derived from the Avena sativa plant, and its skin benefits have been known and utilized for hundreds of years.
Oatmeal is a grain that is rich in proteins, sugars, lipids, and minerals. It is used as a soap-free cleanser and is particularly useful for skin that is sensitive, dry, inflamed, or irritated.
In addition to the ability to absorb dirt and skin oil, oats can repair damaged skin. Therefore, oatmeal is used to soothe and protect skin affected by dermatitis or eczema. Oatmeal is found in various formulations, although soaps, lotions, creams, and powders (to be dissolved in bathwater) are the most popular.
Olive oil is relatively inexpensive and plentiful oil that is used as a moisturizer for the skin and as a conditioner for the hair. It has also been used for the treatment of dandruff in adults and for cradlecap in infants.
Typically it is applied to the scalp and left on for about 15 minutes and then washed off, thus lifting the adherent flakes or scales.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil, derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, is useful for a variety of purposes. It has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
It has been used as a treatment for facial acne.
In fact, one study has demonstrated that a tea tree oil gel is as effective as benzoyl peroxide 5 percent, although tea tree oil takes longer to work. Tea tree oil has also been used to treat several fungal infections including those of the feet, nails, and groin.
Vinegar is an ingredient that has also been used for the treatment of bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections. Its high acid content is responsible for these anti-infective properties.
Vinegar has been used as eardrops for swimmers to prevent and to treat swimmer’s ear. It does this by producing an acidic environment that retards bacterial overgrowth. Vinegar soaks can be used in the body folds and the nails and to prevent and decrease the growth of fungi and yeast.
Vinegar soaks can also remove the green color sometimes present when fingernails and toenails become infected with certain bacteria.
Vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, is found naturally in vegetable oils, sunflower seeds, nuts, brown rice, and whole grains. Vitamin E is often applied directly to healing wounds to facilitate healing and to prevent and treat scars.
It is also used to improve skin tone and texture. It is important to know that some people will develop an allergic reaction to topical Vitamin E applied directly to the skin.
Witch hazel, derived from the shrub Hamamelis virginiana, has been used to treat itchy or inflamed skin. The shrub’s bark and leaves have been used as a local anesthetic and astringent. It is commonly used as a cosmetic toner because the large quantities of tannins contained in witch hazel cause the skin to tighten, remove excess surface oil, and decrease bacteria particularly on acne-prone skin.
Plain yogurt, rich in protein, calcium, vitamins, and rich in alpha hydroxy acids, makes it an ideal skin cleanser. It is also used as a facial mask to soften the skin.