If someone had told me earlier that marshmallow root has anti-aging skin benefits, I would have been on a sugar high for the better part of my life. When you think of marshmallows, most of us think of s'mores in front of a campfire or sugary Peeps in the spring; healthy skin and hair usually isn't at the forefront of your mind. To be honest, it wasn't even something I considered until recently. Growing up, my mother would never have allowed that amount of sugar at once no matter how fluffy and adorable it looked. As I grew older, I was wary that not all marshmallows were completely vegetarian.
But marshmallow root has been used as a healing herb for centuries. While known to ease a sore throat or an upset stomach, its benefits go beyond medicinal and are starting to be used more in natural skin and hair products. According to sources at the Huffington Post, marshmallow root is an emollient with moisturizing and hydrating properties, which is basically what every hair type wants and needs. Plus, marshmallow's anti-inflammatory properties, while mild, are great for soothing skin irritations like acne, puffiness, and yes, it can slow down the signs of aging too.
You can purchase marshmallow extract in liquid form or in tea bags to get started on your marshmallow skin and treatments. These recipes below are some of my faves.
1. Marshmallow Toner
Marshmallow root tea has so many delicious skin benefits that you can use it solo, like many teas, it doesn't need help from other ingredients to be a gentle, effective toner. Steep your tea bags in hot (not boiling) water and wait for it to cool. Once your tea has become an endurable temperature, take a cotton swab and smear it on your face and neck. This can be used daily after you've cleansed your face and before moisturizing.
2. Marshmallow Ice Cubes
Since those inflamed pimples or puffy eyes rarely go down by themselves, an infused ice cube is a quick way to revitalize your skin sans irritation. Just brew marshmallow tea and then fill up an ice cube tray. Once the cubes are frozen, you can gently rub one over any spots that are feeling particularly irritated.
3. Face Mask
I'm obsessed with clay masks. They have amazing benefits for acne, saggy skin, and improving complexions — just like marshmallow extract. Infuse the water you use to make your clay mask with marshmallow extract for an extra boost of benefits. Just use enough to make your clay mask a thick paste and apply as normal on makeup free skin.
4. Marshmallow Hair Rinse
Normally, I take my hair rinses way to seriously and it's an hour long process. Lately, I've been loving a quick rinse while my hair is in a protective style. I used marshmallow tea by gently massaging into my scalp in the shower. This is a great rinse when you're in between conditions and just want to give your hair some extra nutrients.
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Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (4)