The Best Healing Ingredients For Your Skin

When it comes to crafting your own skin and hair care, it's crucial to make sure that all your healing ingredients have a purpose. That's the whole point of making your own stuff, right? Whether I'm DIYing for myself or tailoring an order for someone else, I always start by considering what I'm trying to achieve with the final product — whether it's improving circulation, healing scars, or soothing acne. The right ingredient that can give your skin a lovely glow without putting potentially harmful chemicals on your face.

With all the external factors that can mess with our skin — like smoke, alcohol, the weather, and pollution — I have a feeling any lines of wisdom I can as I age will be overshadowed by a dull complexion if I don't work my favorite healing ingredients into my daily skin routine. I'm not alone: According to sources at Marketwatch, the anti-aging business reached $261.9 billion in 2013. That number seems unsurprising when I see plant-based anti-aging creams selling for over $100.

Fortunately, if anti-aging is something you're concerned with, you can get similar treatments for a lot less cash in our own homes. These six ingredients have a significant role in restoring the skin and body. You can incorporate them in your own DIY skincare routine or be on the look-out for these ingredients in your next purchase.

1. Sandalwood

Sandalwood essential oil comes from a few different places and they are all on the pricier side, but Indian sandalwood is commonly thought to be the most medicinal. You can purchase Indian sandalwood powder to get the healing properties directly on your skin for less.

The most exciting skin properties of Indian sandalwood are that it boosts circulation with an abundance of antioxidants to prevent wrinkles. The essential oil has astringent properties which makes sandalwood one of the coveted anti-aging oils because it can literally make the skin tighter when applied correctly. The essential oil and sandalwood powder is nourishing, anti-inflammatory, and can relieve oily and dry skin. You can add both forms of sandalwood essential oil or the powder to Manuka honey for a quick, daily cleanse.

2. Echinacea Powder

Echinacea has been a part of my life since my first cold. While it's taken a backseat to pharmaceuticals in modern times, it was once America's medicine of choice. A native grower in the states, echinacea can be used topically for treating skin issues that seem ongoing as we age.

The great thing about using powders instead of essential oils for treating age-related skin issues is they aren't as volatile as in essential oil form and still have the same versatility. I've been using echinacea in a beautifully, herbaceaous salt scrub to soothe inflamed skin from razor burn. Just add the powder to your favorite scrub or a coffee face mask and let the plant do its magic.

3. Matcha Green Tea

A list of healing ingredients wouldn't be complete without matcha. Green tea is notorious for its antioxidants which help us fight off free radicals and keep our natural glow. This is another pricey ingredient that I find to be well worth the expense because of its versatility. Plus, you can drink the extra in a delicious matcha latte.

4. Frankincense Powder

IMO, frankincense is one of the best natural antidepressants being used in aromatherapy. You can also get plenty of skin benefits from frankincense essential oil. Lately, I've been really loving the restorative properties of frankincense powder. It relieves inflammation, including my pimples, and has great bacteria-fighting, cleansing properties. Not only is it great for acne-prone skin, but it also is used as a preventative measure to wrinkles.

5. Elderflower

It's no secret I'm an elderflower lover. Dried elder can definitely have multiple uses; it has the same versatility of echinacea and matcha when it comes to being restoring skin and immunity. It's full of antioxidants and has the ability to prevent cellular damage that comes with aging while having cleansing and antibacterial properties that neutralize toxins.

The elderflower is most commonly used to treat wrinkles, age-spots, and inflamed skin conditions. I love infusing it into oil and using it as a face serum. The dried flowers can have lots of pesky stems that feel harsh on the skin, so when using it in a honey or milk cleanse I always like to use a grinder or muddle it very fine before I apply on my face.

6. Bilberry

Another ingredient known for its restorative properties, bilberries are most notably famous for their eye health and are often overlooked for their antioxidant properties that help protect the skin from damaging external factors. The berries are filled with vitamins B, C, and E and have been used for hundreds of years to increase blood circulation.

Bilberries can be easily found at your local vitamin store, but I usually by mine online at Frontier Co-op because they have bulk, organic berries. To use dried bilberries, grind them up and make a paste with either honey, milk, tea, or distilled water. Once you've gotten a paste, let the bilberries do their thing for a few minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.

Kristin Collins Jackson (7)