In nature, you will find a slew of healing ingredients for acne and dry skin, but some of our most potent botanicals are often overlooked even though they are the best herbs to heal scars. There are plenty of reasons why some of us find ourselves plagued with blemishes and lesions, whether they are leftover from a previous breakout or a result of hyper-pigmentation and aging. Luckily, you'll be able to find something in nature to help heal those spots. I’ve got 10 herbs that will support your complexion and help save your skin.
I’m currently still wearing the mistakes of a Christmas Eve sugar binge, months later and diligently trying to lighten the breakout that ensued underneath my chin. Of course, there are plenty of lightening products at Rite Aid directly behind my house, but bleaching my dark spots leaves me exposed to some unnecessary chemicals. While natural remedies tend to take longer to see results, my experience with many of the OTC products I’ve used in the past have taken equally as long and been quite costly. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ingredients you can add to your DIY beauty recipes that can help heal scars.
Whether you’re making a scrub, a cream, or a gel, these herbs are a great jump-off point for restoring balance to an uneven complexion.
Turmeric is growing in popularity among acne sufferers despite its staining effects. That's because turmeric not only relieves inflammation from pimples, but it has also been known to even skin tone by lifting the pesky scars acne leaves behind. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can reduce scar tissue which can help with the appearance of leftover acne spots. My favorite method? Adding turmeric to manuka honey for a daily cleanser that keeps acne away while also treating spots.
Clove is one of my favorite antiseptics to alleviate painful acne. The essential oil is incredibly potent and should be used with caution and experience. However, clove powder can help lift acne scars as well and its way less volatile. It has antibacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties that can clean and lift scars. Clove essential oil and powder makes a great addition to a scar-lifting body scrub that keep skin even all over.
Scullcap (aka skullcap) is often overshadowed due to its herbaceous scent, but it's one of my personal favorites to reduce the appearance of scars for my clients. However, recent studies are finally giving this herb the scar-removing credit it deserves. According to a study mentioned in this local CBS article, a new plant-based injection called baicalein has shown to reduce scarring in animals. Guess where that baicalein is from? Scullcap. Of course, you don't need to wait for it to become available for humans; you can make your own herbal infusion at home to incorporate the oil into a homemade scar removing cream.
Calendula (aka marigold) is another one of my secret agents in scar removal. Originally, I started using calendula to relieve dermatitis in my clients that need topical support from radiation therapy and quickly found that calendula knows no boundaries when it comes to healing wounds. Topical applications including calendula have shown to speed up wound healing by increasing blood flow to the wounded area and regenerating new tissue to the affected area. My favorite way to use calendula oil is to make a healing gel with aloe vera for scar-lifting ability to treat stubborn scars and bruises.
Before antibiotics, echinacea was a go-to ingredient for colds proving to have a profound affect on the immune system. However, as sources at Dr. Shar point out, echinacea was also used to heal wounds for hundreds of years. By stimulating the healing process and reducing inflammation, echinacea powder can be used during the onset of scarring while limiting the chance of infection. This is a great ingredient for popped pimples, wounds, and to prevent keloids from abrasions on the skin. I love using echinacea powder in a healing body scrub or facial.
Another potent herb with incredible benefits for acne is none other than nutmeg. The spice we love to dress up our latte's with actually has active polyphenols that increase tissue found underneath the skin, increasing the growth of new cells. Not only does nutmeg heal old wounds, but it also can prevent new ones with its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory properties that DIYers love to use to reduce blemishes. Use this potent spice sparingly in combination with hemp milk to make a gentle micro-exfoliating cleanser to prevent and lift scars.
7. Comfrey Leaf
Another herb famous for its ablity to speed up the skin's healing process is comfrey leaf. This herb has been used for centuries on wounds because of a key compound called allantoin that supports cell growth and collagen production. According to an article published in the Epoch Times, comfrey's ability to regenerate skin cells are so transparent, you can literally cut it down to the root and the plant will regenerate itself within weeks. Now that's some powerful wound-healing. How do I take my comfrey leaf? Infused and blended with aloe vera water and coconut oil for ultimate scar removal.
Lemongrass is well known as an essential oil for the blemished because of its astringent and skin toning properties. The essential oil is very antiseptic and can cause irritation so it needs to be used with the utmost respect and caution. Since I love lemongrass, I had to test the culinary herb out in its original form and fell in love with its delicate scent (it isn't quite as sweet as the essential oil) and scar-lifting ability. It's antibacterial and antimicrobial, but it's its anti-inflammatory properties that gives this herbal scar treatment potential. Discard the bark and use the tender "meat" of the grass (as you would for cooking) and use in a body scrub. Mixing fresh lemongrass will release its natural oil and scar-removing properties for a nourishing scrub that will heal and lift the skin.
9. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm (no relation to lemons or lemongrass), Melissa officinalis, and its essential oil commonly known as Melissa essential oil is known for its calming effects on the skin as well as the mind. The antioxidants are great to prevent cell damage and treat damaged skin. Most notably, its used as a treatment for herpes improving redness and swelling with great speed. An infusion of fresh lemon balm and oil is a great remedy to start the healing process of scars from chickenpox, shingles, or cold sores and of course, acne scars.
10. Dandelion Root
Dandelions are often discarded by gardeners as a weed, but herbalists have used the root for ages for its topical healing properties. Dandelion root contains vitamins A and C which are great wound healers among a plethora of antioxidants other nutrients our damaged skin craves. It's great for preventing and treating acne as well as relieving scars by stimulating the healing process of skin cells. I love using dandelion root oil in my daily moisturizer to help alleviate acne scars and to keep my complexion vibrant.