Plant Powered Skincare Ingredients

Posted by Azadeh Shirazi MD on

The world of skincare is getting a green makeover as plant based products are becoming more popular. Botanical products are gentle, effective, and environmentally friendly and they can be beneficial for many different skin concerns. Whether you’re struggling with acne, rosacea, aging, or hyperpigmentation, there is a natural, plant derived product for whatever skin concern you might have. I’ve got all these topics covered below, so if you want the best for your skin and the planet some of these ingredients might just be for you!

1. Bakuchiol 

Bakuchiol is a game changer in the skincare industry. Derived from the Babchi plant, this ingredient is an amazing companion to retinol. It can also be used as an alternative to retinol. Sensitive skin types can benefit from this natural ingredient as it offers similar benefits to retinol, but with less side effects. Although Bakuchiol is great for anti-aging, it can also be used for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it a great option for those with Acne. A few great bakuchiol products to think about incorporating into your skincare routine are:

Lift and Renew: a clinically proven formula designed to renew skin cells, diminish lines, minimize pores, even out skin tone, improve skin hydration, and reduce discoloration for a brighter, youthful complexion. 

Omorovicza’s Miracle Facial Oil: Nourishing yet lightweight facial oil to repair, smooth and hydrate.

Oskia’s Super16 Serum:  A pro-collagen, anti-ageing power house of 16 super nutrients and bio-actives designed to boost collagen synthesis, lift, firm the skin and reduce fine lines.

Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Serum naturally derived retinol-alternative serum to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while sealing in hydration

2. Green Tea

Green tea is no rookie to the skincare community. As an antioxidant (antioxidants are known to neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative stress, preventing premature aging) and an anti-inflammatory, this ingredient helps combat the effects of sun exposure and pollution. Green tea has also been proven to reduce inflammation and redness, making it a great ingredient for sensitive, acne-prone, and rosacea-prone skin types. Aside from the amazing benefits it can offer topically, green tea can produce a calming effect; and we all know that reducing stress ultimately leads to less breakouts and healthier skin. So whether you want to enjoy a cup of green tea or incorporate it into your skincare routine, this ingredient is a natural and effective way to support your skin's overall health. A few of my go to great Green Tea products are:

Purify Cleanser: A powerful antioxidant cleanser with green tea polyphenols and cucumber extract great for nourishing and cleansing the skin effectively, removing makeup, oil, and impurities.

Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser: a great green juice cleanser with antioxidants from kale, spinach, and green tea. 

3. Arbutin

One of my favorites! Arbutin is derived from bearberry plants and you guys know how much I love berries. Of course this natural ingredient has many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but Arbutin is mainly known for its lightening abilities. It works by inhibiting an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its color. By blocking this enzyme, Arbutin can help fade dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone, resulting in a lighter, brighter complexion. So if you have hyperpigmentation but struggle with sensitive skin, this might be the ingredient for you. Here are some great products to try with Arbutin:

DermaBright Pads: 60 pads formulated to target skin concerns such as melasma, discoloration, age spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Azelaic10 Serum: a hydrating serum that soothes inflammation and gently exfoliates the skin. Formulated with natural plant-based brighteners to lighten discoloration, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and diminish signs of acne, rosacea, and melasma.

Urban SkinRX Super C Brightening Serum: secret weapon to brighten and improve the appearance of aging skin, dark spots and uneven skin tone.

Peter Thomas Roth PRO Strenth Niacinamide Discoloration Treatment: Tranexamic Acid, Kojic Acid, Alpha Arbutin and Pentapeptide.

4. Resveratrol

Resveratrol has gained popularity in the skincare community due to its potent age-defying effects. Derived from various plants, including grapes, berries, and peanuts, this special ingredient can help us protect our skin from free radical damage. It is believed to protect the skin from damage caused by UV radiation and environmental stressors. It’s also known to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which is why we love it so much. Typically found in serums and creams, resveratrol may be combined with other beneficial ingredients like vitamin C or hyaluronic acid  to enhance its effects. If you’re looking for products to try with Resveratrol, I’d suggest:

Caudelie Resveratrol Lift lifts and reduces the look of wrinkles. Powered by patented resveratrol, hyaluronic acid and a vegan collagen alternative

Restore Moisturizer: The perfect restorative cream to deeply hydrate while diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and protecting against free radical damage, leaving your skin nourished and glowing. 

5. Aloe Vera

This might be an overly hyped ingredient, but I personally think of it as old faithful. It’s universal and can be beneficial for every skin type. Aloe Vera is a succulent plant that's been used for centuries for its medicinal and healing properties. It’s famous for soothing, cooling, and hydrating the skin. The gel-like substance it produces contains vitamins, amino acids, and polysaccharides, which contribute to its numerous health benefits. It acts as an anti-inflammatory making it ideal for those with Acne, Eczema, and Psoriasis, but the cooling and hydrating affect can be great for sunburns, dryness, or irritation. It can also be used in a smoothie for gut health, lowering blood sugar, or lowering cholesterol levels.

Soothe HC: specially formulated medicated cream, infused with aloe vera and hydrocortisone USP 1%, it effectively reduces and improves acne, eczema, and psoriasis, leaving your skin calm and comfortable. Great for treating sunburns!

The Ordinary Aloe 2% Solution: love this for all skin types. Great for improving texture and promoting a healthy skin barrier. 

6. Mushrooms

Believe it or not, this is a top trending ingredient right now in skincare. Mushrooms are believed to offer several advantages when incorporated into skincare products. Some of these advantages include hydration and moisturization, brightening and evening skin tone, as well as anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects. A few popular types of mushrooms in skincare include

Reishi Mushrooms: contain polysaccharides that may have anti-inflammatory effects

Shiitake Mushrooms: contain Kojic Acid, which has been shown to have skin-brightening properties.

Chaga Mushrooms: are rich in antioxidants and may help protect the skin from environmental damage, while cordyceps mushrooms may have hydrating effects.

My favorite fungi products are:

The Origin Megamushroom:  formulated with reishi mushroom, chaga mushroom, licorice root, and hyaluronic acid, this naturally derived formula is great for immediate soothing hydration and calming redness and irritation.

DermaBright Pads: formulated with Arbutin and Kojic Acid, this product is specifically formulated to target skin concerns such as melasma, discoloration, age spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Recommended Products for your skin needs: Take the skincare quiz

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Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, MD is a Board-Certified Dermatologist.

Specializing in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Shirazi received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University Of Kentucky College of Medicine. After doing a Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, she completed her residency training in Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in addition to completing her training in dermatology and cosmetic surgery at the University of California San Diego.

She has received multiple research scholarships from iconic institutions including Harvard University and the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and has several peer-reviewed publications to her name.