Let’s face it; our youthful, plump, rosy skin doesn’t last forever, no matter what we do. And besides, the natural aging process can be such a beautiful part of the human experience. Nonetheless, we live in a world that sometimes seems like it’s hell-bent on aging us faster and faster! Luckily, we have so many medicinal plants that are as good for us on the inside as they are for us on the outside. Here are 10 reasons why hibiscus, one of the world’s most beloved flowers, is so incredibly good for your skin.
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10 Incredible Skincare Benefits of Hibiscus
The hibiscus flower is deeply steeped in the food and medicine of many tropical and subtropical areas around the world. And everyone knows that hibiscus tea is the most essential summertime thirst-quencher. Don’t they?
The broad scope of science-supported hibiscus flower health benefits ranges from helping to manage kidney and liver health, high cholesterol, and anemia, as well as menstruation and menopause.
And it’s perhaps most famously touted for its health benefits to the cardiovascular system. Hibiscus is forever a medicine of the heart.
And as luck would have it, hibiscus is equally as good for the outside of our bodies! So in case you had the odd hankering to spritz your face with some cooling hibiscus tea, you’re totally on to something.
Is hibiscus good for your skin? Yes! And here’s 10 reasons why:
1. Hibiscus is Antioxidant-Rich
Ok, so first the bad news: we live in an increasingly toxic world. And our skin is our first line of defense. It’s constantly being exposed to toxins of all kinds, literally all the time.
From environmental toxins inside and outside of our homes, everyday stress and anxiety, smoking and drinking alcohol, prescription medications, eating food grown with toxic chemicals, and so much more, the toxins are literally everywhere.
And while that can sound incredibly defeating, one of the best things we can do is to give our bodies extra antioxidant support. Enter hibiscus.
Lucky for us, hibiscus is naturally rich in antioxidants! It contains vitamin C as well as a variety of potent antioxidant compounds that include anthocyanins, polyphenols, and chlorogenic acids. (You may recognize chlorogenic acid as one of the prominent antioxidants that contribute to the incredible health benefits of coffee!)
These antioxidants can help to reduce cellular damage created by exposure to toxins. And in reducing cellular damage, we are better able to resist disease and see fewer signs of premature aging.
2. Hibiscus is Hydrating, Inside & Out
Hibiscus tea is skincare from the inside out! Whether we’re drinking nourishing herbal teas or plain ol’ water, the more nourishing liquids we consume, the more hydrated we stay.
And staying well-hydrated is a key factor in maintaining the moisture and elasticity of our skin. When our skin is dry and tight, it’s less resilient to the stressors of everyday life and can lead to loss of elasticity, wrinkling, and a dull appearance.
In addition to the hydration factor, hibiscus tea also contains nutrients and antioxidant compounds that also help to nourish our skin.
3. Hibiscus is Anti-Inflammatory
Another benefit of being so high in antioxidants is the incredible anti-inflammatory benefits. As the antioxidants are working their powers of fighting cellular damage and the oxidative stress that can lead to signs of premature aging, they are also helping to fight inflammation of tissues, including the skin.
Hibiscus can be used topically or taken internally as a tea for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Anti-inflammatories can help to slow premature signs of aging, as well as reduce inflammation as a result of infection or acne.
4. Hibiscus Helps to Support Our Skin’s Natural Detoxification
The health of our skin can often tell us a lot about how our body’s organs and systems of natural detoxification are (or aren’t) functioning. Some of the classic signs that we may benefit from a deep, cellular level detox include skin infections, rashes, and even acne.
Due to hibiscus’ high antioxidant capacity, it can help to support the healthy function of our biggest detox organs such as our skin, liver, and kidneys.
All of these organs function to eliminate toxins and other metabolic wastes from our bodies.
When they’re under abnormal stress, hibiscus, one of the most gentle and best herbs for detox, helps to keep them healthy and eliminating toxins just as they should. And when our toxic load is kept low, our skin is healthier and more resistant to premature aging.
5. Hibiscus is Naturally Gently Exfoliating
Hibiscus also contains alpha-hydroxy acids, commonly known as AHAs, that have been proven to act as gentle exfoliators when applied topically to the skin. You may recognize glycolic acid, lactic acid, or malic acid from the ingredients list of your anti-aging skin care products. These acids are some of the most used AHAs in the skincare industry!
AHAs are commonly added to anti-aging skin care products, as studies have shown that the benefits of AHAs may include the reduced appearance of wrinkles and improved skin texture. AHAs work to gently slough away dead skin to encourage skin cell turnover.
6. Hibiscus Has Wound Healing Properties
Wound healing is an essential part of slowing the aging process of our skin, especially if you have skin that is prone to blemishes. Without healthy wound healing processes, skin infections can more easily lead to scarring.
One study showed that an extract of hibiscus leaves may help to promote proper wound healing by increasing the production of fibronectin, a protein that can help to both speed up the wound healing process and improve wound closure.
7. Hibiscus May Help with Uneven Skin Tone
Here’s another incredible benefit of the AHAs found in hibiscus. As natural gentle exfoliators, AHAs help to slough off dead skin cells, and in doing so may help to remedy uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.
8. Hibiscus May Help to Increase Collagen Production
As one of the main building blocks of our skin, collagen helps to keep our skin plump and firm. As we lose collagen, our skin loses elasticity and is more prone to sagging and wrinkles.
There are all kinds of collagen powders and potions on the market these days. But one of the easiest (and much more economical) ways to increase your collagen production is to amp up the vitamin C in your life.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is absolutely essential for natural collagen production. By naturally helping to boost specific enzymes that are responsible for collagen synthesis, vitamin C helps to delay the onset of wrinkling due to loss of collagen.
Vitamin C can help to increase collagen production both internally and when applied topically.
9. Hibiscus May Help to Decrease the Loss of Collagen
Collagen loss is a normal part of life. Normal daily sun exposure, poor lifestyle habits (like an excessive intake of sugar, alcohol, or smoking), and the normal aging process can all lead to an increased loss of collagen.
Hibiscus contains an antioxidant called myricetin that specifically suppresses collagenase, an enzyme whose main goal in life is to break down collagen. With less of this enzyme floating around, we experience a lesser amount of collagen loss.
Bonus: Myricetin has also been found to play a beneficial role in wound healing as well.
10. Hibiscus May Help to Support Skin Elasticity
Much like collagen, elastin is another skin protein that plays a huge role in the health and appearance of our skin. And also like collagen, we lose elastin, the stretchy protein that keeps our skin tight due to an increase in elastase as we age. Elastase, like collagenase, is an enzyme that is specifically hell-bent on breaking down elastin.
And as it does with collagenase, the myrecetin found in hibiscus can help to suppress the production of elastinase. By doing so, hibiscus can help us retain more elasticity in our skin, preventing it from sagging.
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Clean Beauty Hibiscus Skincare Products To Try
With all the amazing benefits to our skin, it’s no surprise that many clean beauty companies have started including hibiscus in their skincare products.
Ready to get some hibiscus into your skincare routine? Check out these clean beauty products:
A super hydrating and gentle mist that targets dullness and dryness! The key ingredients in this award-winning face mist? Coconut water, vegan hyaluronic acid, organic rose hydrosol, and hibiscus extract.
This soothing vegan and gluten-free eye cream uses hibiscus extract to help firm under-eye skin, minimize wrinkles, and give a less puffy, more awake, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed appearance. It also contains extracts of other incredible skincare plants such as elderflower, beetroot, rosemary, carrot, and red clover.
This moisturizing sugar scrub is made with a base of shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and aloe. It aims to firm and tone with the addition of hibiscus flowers and hibiscus extract.
Want more hibiscus in your life? Check these out:
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DISCLAIMER: The information given in this article is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before consuming certain herbs & medicinal foods, especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking any prescription medications.