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Natural skin care ingredients decoded

Sommer Caraway is a freelance writer and public relations specialist based in Arizona. Follow her updates on Twitter @sommerPR or check out her blog at SommerCaraway.com.

Go natural

Natural makeup and skin care products boast key ingredients that are good for your skin, but what do they really do? Learn about some of the best natural ingredients to look for as we unlock their true benefits.

Natural Makeup


WILD ROSE OR ROSEHIP OIL WILD ROSE OR ROSEHIP OIL

Deep in the mountains of Chile grows the wild rose. Rosehip oil is extracted from the "hips" of this plant and can be used for potent skin care benefits. Meredith Morgan, an aesthetician at Paradise Medspa & Wellness, says the wild rose is known for its healing properties and is especially beneficial for softening dry skin, even "sensitive enough for baby skin." Wild rose oil also promotes cell regeneration, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles and corrects uneven skin tones and hyper-pigmentation.

Try this: Korres Wild Rose Foundation, $30

AFRICAN RED TEA AFRICAN RED TEA

African red tea contains more antioxidants than green or black teas, helping to reduce the signs of premature aging. Also power-packed with minerals such as calcium and copper, the tea has a long list of 'anti' properties – antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer. Use African red tea to smoothe the skin and reduce irritation.

Try this: Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Trio at Sephora, $85

ARNICA ARNICA

Extracts from the flower head of arnica, which belongs to the sunflower family, are used to reduce puffiness and dark circles, calm inflammation and alleviate sore muscles.

Try this: Jurlique Herbal Recovery Eye Gel, $48


ECHINACEA ECHINACEA

Echinacea comes from the roots, seed heads and leaves of the purple coneflower, a plant unique to eastern and central North America. Extracts from these spiny perennials are used for their soothing properties, perfect for sensitive, irritated skin, and also have antibacterial properties to calm inflamed skin. Look for alcohol-free extracts of echinacea for the purest products.

Try this: Tarte Clean Slate Natural Face Primer, $30

 WITCH HAZEL WITCH HAZEL

This natural healer comes from the leaves, twigs and bark of the witch hazel tree. According to Sandy Trevino, lead provider and licensed aesthetician and massage therapist at Jurlique Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., Native Americans used witch hazel for its natural healing properties, applying its leaves to wounds and abrasions.
Identified by its red-golden flowers, this tree maintains its leaves in autumn, when other trees lose them, offering extractions almost year-round. A refreshing, clarifying and toning astringent, witch hazel "rebalances oiliness, while firming and smoothing," she says. This is the perfect natural ingredient for oily skin!

Try this: Cosmedicine Healthy Cleanse Foaming Cleanser & Toner in One, $30

 MARSHMALLOW MARSHMALLOW

Key beauty ingredients are harvested from the roots of the marshmallow plant during autumn and winter in Australia. Marshmallow provides natural humectants, which lock in moisture and are used in cosmetic products for intense hydrating, softening and soothing. Trevino says this ingredient is in 90 percent of the Jurlique products, because it benefits all skin types.

Try this: Jurlique Balancing Day Care Cream, $40

 CHAMOMILE CHAMOMILE

Chamomile is extracted from flower heads and has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties . Use to rebalance dryness, calm and soothe the skin.

"Chamomile is great after a [beauty] treatment, or when skin may be irritated, as it neutralizes skin irritants," says Morgan. And it also acts as an anti-itch and antiseptic.

Try this: Jurlique Chamomile Rose-Hydrating Essence, $38

Place a few drops into a bowl of hot water. Immerse your washcloth in the water, ring dry and apply to your face for a hot towel compress that infuses deep hydration into the skin.

SUGAR SUGAR

Sugar is a natural, gentle exfoliator. Salt granules are larger and coarser, and typically better for body treatments, but sugar granules are smaller and less abrasive – perfect for your lips! Look for an organic brown sugar scrub for a mild exfoliator.

Try this: Jane Iredale Sugar & Butter Lip Exfoliator, $24

More skincare on SheKnows

Skincare tips from a dermatologist
The best at-home facials
Dealing with sunburned, peeling skin

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