Why Skullcap Leaves Are A DIY Beauty Essential

Skullcap leaves are finally making their way into our skincare — and it's a good thing, because these vibrantly green leaves have soothing, protective properties that are good for all skin types. Yes, these skin and hair benefits of skullcap leaves are beyond many of the OTC products we often frequent... and far more affordable. According to sources at Organic Facts, skullcap leaves refer to a mint-family plant that grows naturally in North America and, just like its cousins, it has loads of beauty bennies. Traditionally, skullcap leaves have been used in Eastern medicine to resolve skin conditions and that's definitely what it's come to be known as in the Western world as well.

According to sources at Everyday Health, skullcap leaves are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also used to balance hormones and stimulate endorphins. If you're wondering how that relates to skincare, think about the last time a cystic outbreak occurred and tell me you don't have a smidge of imbalance in your life. Skullcap leaves aren't just for taking down inflammation in our pimples either, they have some insanely potent anti-aging properties that even the non-aging beaut can appreciate. According to sources at Dermascope, skullcap leaves also heal and protect against sun damage. This is due to a little flavanoid called biacalin; not to get too scientific on you, but biacalin is a proven cellular regenerator that increases the firmness of our skin and its elasticity. Saggy eyes, be gone!

Have I sold you on skullcap yet? Well, then, here are seven ways to use your new favorite herb.

How To Make Skullcap Tea From Dried Skullcap Leaves

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First bring water to a boil, then add the leaves and let steep for five minutes. Place a ceramic bowl in sink and place a colander on top to extract the leaves from the liquid. Save leaves for future use by storing in glass Tupperware container.

1. Cleansing Scalp Rinse

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I've enhanced my hibiscus hair rinse by using skullcap tea instead of my usual green tea and I'm in love with how soft my tresses are.

2. Clay Mask Infused With Skullcap Tea

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If you really want to go green in your skincare, try infusing your green clay mask with skullcap tea instead of plain old water. This mask is great for oily, acne prone skin because of the properties of green clay and the healing properties of the skullcap tea.

3. Skullcap Tea Cleanser

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If you are looking for a gentle cleanser to wake your skin up in the a.m., skullcap tea may end your search. Just use your cooled tea on makeup free skin and wash as you would with any cleanser, massaging on the face and neck. You can even mix with honey or rose water for extra benefits!

4. Skullcap Psoriasis Treatment

According to the same article at Everyday Health, skullcap leaves have proven to bring down inflammation, redness, and itching from psoriasis. Be sure to purchase a completely pure form of skullcap leaves for a soothing application. Look for an organic label which will ensure your leaves are free of toxic pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics, growth hormones, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives because these additives have the potential to cause more irritation when applied topically.

5. Natural Toner

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Use scullcap tea after you cleanse your face for a natural toner that will leave your skin feeling hydrated while it drinks up all those delicious antioxidants.

6. Skullcap Exfoliate

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Remember when I said to save those skullcap leaves that you used to make tea? Well, those leaves are going to be used for a restorative exfoliate you can use all over your bod. Just use a tablespoon of the leaves, two tablespoons of raw honey, and mix well. Apply on damp, makeup free skin once a week to bring your skin back to life.

7. Skullcap Facial Mist

If you love a good facial mist, then you'll love using your skullcap tea to spritz on your face for those not so hydrated days. Add essential oils like frankincense or rose to your tea and use a funnel to place in tinted spray bottle. If your skin runs on the dry side? Add a teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil and spritz away!

Image: THONGCHAI/Fotolia, Artem Varnitsin/Fotolia; Kristin Collins Jackson (6)