17 Plants You Can Grow at Home for Radiant Skin
Is the answer to your skin care woes hiding in your backyard? Plants and flowers have been used for centuries for medicinal and beauty purposes. The plants sitting on your windowsill or taking root outdoors can alleviate a variety of skin issues, leaving you with beautiful, glowing skin. Grow any one of these plants at home to achieve radiant skin and turn gorgeous blooms and foliage into at-home skin care solutions.
This classic bud can be found in more than beautiful bouquets. Rose is one of the most popular botanical skin care ingredients. Why? Rose extract in various forms can be used on a variety of skin types, but is particularly useful for moisturizing dry sin. Those suffering from acne can benefit from rose oil’s antiseptic and astringent properties, along with its anti-inflammatory properties that cut down on redness. Recent studies have found that rose oil can actually promote healing in wounds.
Topical Benefits: Used in lotions, astringents, and toners, rose extract and oil can be used to calm inflammation, create an even skin tone, and combat bacteria.
Growing Tips: Roses need sunlight, so plant your new rosebush in an area of the yard that gets at least six hours of direct sun a day. Make sure you plant them in rich, well-draining soil and use mulch to serve as a barrier against evaporation. Roses must be pruned to thrive, so get out those clippers and spend some time outdoors—just be sure to wear your SPF.
Next time you’re chopping up cilantro for your favorite guacamole or salsa recipe, consider the benefits this herb offers for your skin. Eating cilantro provides plenty of health benefits, including decreased cholesterol and digestive issue relief, but it can also pack a powerful punch when it comes to skin care. Cilantro is jam-packed with antioxidants that fight free radicals, and provides a potent dose of Vitamin C. Cilantro has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and can help soothe inflammation for those with acne-prone skin.
Ingestible Benefits: Throw cilantro into your favorite salad or dish to soothe your digestive system and decrease high cholesterol levels.
Topical Benefits: Grind coriander seeds and mix the powder into your favorite DIY mask to take advantage of its soothing, anti-inflammatory benefits.
Growing Tips: This aromatic herb does best in sunny or lightly shaded areas in southern zones. Make sure your soil is moist and well-draining. As you begin to plant, be sure to leave around seven inches between each seed; if you want to maintain your fresh cilantro, sow them every two to three weeks.
Bay leaves can help detoxify the body, minimize the effects of aging on your skin, combat bacterial infections, reduce inflammation, and speed up healing. This wonder leaf deserves a spot of honor in your botanical skin care solutions. True bay leafs come from the Laurel tree and can be ground into a fine powder for use in home skin care remedies.
Ingestible Benefits: Toss a few bay leaves into your favorite soup or stew and take advantage of its ability to soothe an upset stomach, facilitate efficient digestion, boost heart health, and regulate blood sugar levels.
Topical Benefits: Grind up a few bay leaves and apply topically with your favorite moisturizer. Bay leaves contain unique phytonutrients that can reduce irritation and alleviate joint pain when applied topically. Apply bay leaves topically to blemishes and skin lesions to encourage healing and get smooth radiant skin.
Growing Tips: You can actually grow bay laurel in a pot, just be sure it gets enough sunlight and is planted in a well-draining container. Be sure to water your laurel deeply, less frequently—the soil should dry out a little bit in between waterings.
These vibrant flowers are easy to grow and work as a fantastic component of natural skin care recipes. Not only will your garden look bright—your face will, too! Calendula oil is derived from marigold flowers, and can be used in a host of ways. It offers anti-inflammatory properties, and can soothe itchy skin conditions. It’s also a fantastic antiseptic, and can help speed up wound healing for those dealing with cuts, wounds, acne sores, and other skin ailments.
Topical Benefits: Infuse calendula into your favorite oils to make homemade lotion, salve, and even hair products. Apply calendula oil to dry skin or chapped lips for some added moisture.
Growing Tips: This bright flower thrives in areas of the yard that are partially shaded or receive full sun. Prepare a garden bed in the back yard with organic potting soil before planting. Be sure to water your calendula well and pinch off decaying blooms and petals regularly to extend the blooming period. Hint: calendula are actually great at repelling insects, so plant them near your vegetable garden to serve as natural pesticide.
Fresh cucumbers contain plenty of antioxidants, helping you combat wrinkles and prevent sun damage. Cucumbers contain important compounds called cucumerin and cucurbitacins that can help fight inflammation and minimize the effects of aging. They also pack a mean punch of Vitamins C and K, antioxidants that can help fight dark circles under your eyes. The Vitamin B5 found in this crunchy produce helps the skin retain moisture, while silica found in cucumbers promotes collagen production, which can help combat wrinkles.
Ingestible Benefits: Chop up cucumbers in your favorite salad and munch on this crunchy fruit to take advantage of numerous benefits. Eating cucumbers can relieve heartburn, flush out toxins, and nourish your body with plenty of immunity boosting Vitamins, including A, B, and C.
Topical Benefits: Head to any local spa and you’ll find a cucumber-based treatment. Make your own resort spa experience at home by using cucumber juice in your favorite DIY masks. Throw a cucumber in a processor and mix with some lemon juice and sugar for an at-home scrub.
Growing Tips: Cucumbers are easy to grow, even for novice gardeners. Plant your cucumbers in an area that receives full sun, keep the soil moist, and voila—you’ll have the perfect addition to a summer salad and your next at-home skin care treatment. Cucumbers require steady watering, and using compost and nutrient-rich fertilizer will help yield some delicious produce.
Rosemary is a staple in flavorful dishes, and as it turns out, a great addition to an at-home skin care routine. With its natural antiseptic properties, it’s a great disinfectant for your skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce redness from breakouts and soothe the skin. Rosemary is bursting with antioxidants, helping fight against free radicals and prevent wrinkles.
Ingestible Benefits: Season your favorite roast or bake some bread with rosemary to take advantage of the health benefits of this fragrant herb. Said to improve memory retention, alleviate stress, and bolster the immune system, ingesting rosemary means giving your body some great health benefits. Need to kick some bad breath? Chew on some fresh rosemary leaves to freshen up. You can also steep rosemary leaves in hot water for a natural tea that provides a host of health benefits in a cup.
Topical Benefits: Use lotions, cleansers, and masks with rosemary oil to give your skin a boost of healthy minerals and soothe the skin of inflammation. Massage this aromatic oil into your skin to cut down on wrinkles and boost cell regeneration.
Growing Tips: This fragrant herb is relatively easy to grow. Make sure your seedling gets plenty of sunlight, is placed in well-draining soil, and has access to plenty of air circulation. You don’t need to do much in terms of fertilizing; sit back and watch this strong little herb do its thing.
Calm your mind and soothe your skin with fragrant lavender. This purple miracle plant works well as an astringent, helping combat oily skin that can lead to breakouts. Lavender has also been observed to reduce inflammation, helping cut down on redness and soothe itchy skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Lavender oil absorbs rapidly into the skin, meaning you can take advantage of its skin healing benefits faster.
Topical Benefits: Mix lavender oil with Aloe Vera to soothe sunburn and rapidly heal any skin lesions or scrapes. Its antimicrobial properties mean lavender can help prevent and fight infection, and applying this oil to your skin in its pure form or in your favorite lotions and moisturizers can help prevent signs of aging. Rub the oil directly on your neck and chest to alleviate headaches and improve sleep; inhaling this scent has been shown to reduce anxiety and insomnia.
Growing Tips: When choosing where to plant your lavender, select areas that receive full sun. Make sure you plant your seedlings within well-drained soil. It’s important that you water lavender deeply but infrequently, letting the soil almost dry out before watering again. If you’re working with low-growing lavender, be sure to trim foliage every once in a while.
Aloe Vera is a known miracle worker when it comes to skin ailments. It’s been used for centuries, and was called the “plant of immortality” by the ancient Egyptians. Have a sunburn? Rub Aloe Vera gel on inflamed skin for instant soothing. This cactus plant produces a clear gel that can help heal wounds; this gel contains two hormones called Gibberellins and Auxin that can stimulate the growth of new cells and cut down on scarring. Easy to grow and quick to heal? Aloe Vera is a definite wonder plant.
Ingestible Benefits: Many don’t realize that Aloe Vera can actually be ingested. Eat it raw or cooked to take advantage of 20 amino acids and 7 enzymes that can help your body absorb nutrients and build muscle.
Topical Benefits: Aloe Vera is easy to use; simply break open the leaf and rub the gel found inside directly on your skin. Excellent for treating sunburn and an effective natural moisturizer, Aloe Vera provides an endless amount of topical benefits. The gel also contains Vitamins C and E, which can help improve your skin’s firmness and retain moisture to keep your face looking and feeling its best.
Growing Tips: Don’t have a green thumb? Aloe Vera is your plant. These succulents do well in dry conditions, and don’t require a great deal of maintenance. Plant in a cactus potting soil mix and ensure the soil can drain easily. Aloe Vera plants will die if left in standing water, so be sure that any pot you use offers plenty of drainage points.
You’ll find mint in a host of personal care products, and it’s no surprise. This fragrant leaf can refresh the skin and help clear up acne. How? Mint contains natural salicylic acid, a gentle and effective exfoliate that can help clear pores and combat breakouts. Mint is an anti-pruritic agent, helping to calm infected, itchy skin. Mint also contains a healthy dose of Vitamin A, which can help strengthen skin tissue and reduce oil production.
Ingestible Benefits: Drink a cup of mint tea or chew on a few refreshing leaves to ease indigestion, alleviate nausea, and prevent headaches.
Topical Benefits: Mint can soothe and cool, so apply cold mint or peppermint tea to burnt or irritated skin. Worried about thinning hair? Apply peppermint essential oil to your scalp to encourage hair growth. Headed out to the wilderness? Apply bush mint oil to your skin to prevent bug bites.
Growing Tips: Mint is quick to grow and quick to spread, so you’ll have plenty of minty goodness to use in no time. Be sure to plant mint in an area where they can spread without affecting other plants, or place them in a spacious pot. Mint thrives in damp conditions, so be sure to water regularly to ensure the soil stays moist. Harvest the leaves regularly to encourage growth.
This Mediterranean herb is a popular addition to a variety of culinary dishes, but it’s also widely used for medicinal purposes. Every leaf is filled with antioxidants, making this herb a fantastic solution for anti-aging needs. Do you struggle with oily, acne-prone skin? Sage can serve as a natural astringent, drying up excess oil and clearing the skin. Sage is chock full of Vitamin A and Calcium, meaning it can help your cells regenerate, leading to clear, smooth skin.
Ingestible Benefits: Consuming sage has been shown to improve memory retention and increase concentration. If you deal with inflamed digestive issues, eat sage leaves to soothe your upset stomach. Sage leaves also offer a great deal of Vitamin K, an important factor in bone density.
Topical Benefits: Create an easy salve with sage and apply to combat dryness and irritation from acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Mix ground up sage with rose water for a simple face mask that leaves your skin feel refreshed and moisturized.
Growing Tips: Sage does best in cooler zones, and usually can’t tolerate the heat and humidity in southern areas. Be sure to plant your seedlings at least 18 inches apart, and make sure your sage gets plenty of sun throughout the day. Prune your plants annually to help promote new growth.
Looking to rejuvenate your skin? Chamomile is bursting with alpha-bisabolol, Chamazulene, and Apigenin, three compounds that can brighten and clarify the skin. This herb is one of the most widely used in the world, and was documented for use in Ancient Egypt. It’s suitable for all skin types and said to reduce inflammation and alleviate irritation. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can be a fantastic skin care option for those with sensitive skin.
Ingestible Benefits: Brew a cup of chamomile tea and sip the benefits. This fantastic herb can aid sleeping, alleviate migraines, and reduce stomach cramping. A favorite herb amongst those who suffer from IBS, this tea can boost your immune system.
Topical Benefits: Apply cool chamomile tea bags to the circles under your eyes to reduce dark inflammation. Brew tea and place your face in the steam, then apply the cooled tea to your skin with a damp rag to benefit from the antioxidants in this tea. Mix dried chamomile with honey and lemon juice for a simple face mask.
Growing Tips: Chamomile thrives in cool conditions. Make sure to plant your seedlings or divisions in a shady area. Chamomile is relatively low maintenance and does best in dry soil; once it’s established, you can step back and watch it do its thing. Live in an area that’s struggling with drought? Chamomile can still thrive, and only needs watering in times of excessive, prolonged drought.
Thyme is actually a cousin to mint, making it no surprise that this herb is also beneficial for skin care. Thyme is filled with phenols, a plant compound that has been observed to combat P. acnes bacteria. The same study found that thyme is actually better at treating blemishes than Benzoyl Peroxide, a harsh exfoliating ingredient found in many skin care treatments. Its antiseptic properties make it a great option for an at-home toner.
Ingestible Benefits: Take thyme by mouth to get your dose of Vitamin A and C. Thyme can help ease the irritation of bronchitis and sore throat. It can also be used to calm an upset stomach, stopping diarrhea and cutting down on flatulence.
Topical Benefits: Mix thyme in alcohol or water to make a tincture to apply to acne blemishes and dark marks, then let the herb go to work combating bacteria. Alcohol too drying for your skin? Mix thyme with witch hazel tonic and apply gently to the skin in problem spots to reap the antibacterial benefits.
Growing Tips: This aromatic herb thrives in full sun. It’s very difficult to get from seedling to full plant; instead, start with young plants purchased from a local nursery. Thyme requires excellent drainage, so be sure to use mulch that prevents root rot. After the first year, you’ll need to prune regularly; simply pinch the tips to help promote growth.
Lemon balm makes for a fantastic addition to any skin care routine. It’s filled with caffeic and ferulic acid, both powerful antioxidants that can fight against sun damage and keep your skin looking and feeling its best. Headed outdoors for some fun under the sun? Fight off pesky mosquitoes with lemon balm. This plant works as a natural bug repellent thanks to its high levels of citronella.
Ingestible Benefits: Lemon balm extract and oil are used to provide a refreshing flavor. Steep your own lemon balm tea or chew on some lemon balm leaves to sharpen your memory, support your liver, and regulate your blood sugar levels.
Topical Benefits: Combine fresh or dried lemon balm with your favorite toner, moisturizer, or DIY mask and apply to benefit your complexion and soothe your skin. Lemon balm is a great cleanser for sensitive skin, working to gently remove oil and dirt.
Growing Tips: This perennial herb requires warm weather. Be sure to plant seedlings at least 20 inches apart in rich soil. Every time you cut your lemon balm, it will grow back thicker—it’s self-replenishing, making it an easy-to-care-for plant. Keep the soil moist, and go easy on the fertilizer, as lemon balm does a fine job of rejuvenating itself.
Cone Flower (Echinacea)
Native American tribes have long used this pretty flower for medicinal purposes to treat a host of maladies including colds, skin infections, arthropod bites, snakebites, and inflammatory skin conditions. The extract of this flower is anti-inflammatory and can help speed up the healing process, helping alleviate redness and swelling on skin lesions. Echinacea has also been observed to bolster collagen, protecting the skin from free radical damage.
Ingestible Benefits: Harvest your cone flowers and strip the leaves from the stem. Dry all portions of the plant for several weeks, then brew a teaspoon or two of the mixture in hot water for an herbal tea. Drink it regularly to reduce symptoms of illnesses and infection by boosting your immune system.
Topical Benefits: Mix Echinacea tea with your favorite essential oils, oatmeal, and sugar for a face mask that exfoliates and soothes in one fell swoop. You can also apply Echinacea tea as a hair mask to keep your mane shiny and healthy.
Growing Tips: These pretty perennials are simple to care for. Place them in full sun if possible; areas with minimal shade are a viable option as well. Coneflowers are generally drought-resistant, but should be watered regularly during the hot summer months. Cut off dead blooms to extend the blooming season and take full advantage of these flowers.
Green Tea Leaf
Want to soothe your skin and improve your complexion? Pull out your teacup. Green tea is a master at skin rejuvenation. Taken internally, it can help flush out toxins from the body. Applied topically, it can heal blemishes faster, reduce the appearance of scars, and alleviate inflammation. Green tea is also packed with antioxidants, helping delay signs of aging and combating skin damage.
Ingestible Benefits: Drinking a cup of green tea can provide you with plenty of benefits. Recent reports indicate green tea can be effective for weight loss, decrease the risk of diabetes and heart disease, and may help reduce levels of bad cholesterol.
Topical Benefits: Lay cool green tea bags under your eyes to get rid of dark circles, and use in your favorite toner or moisturizer to calm redness and irritation. Combine green tea leaves with lemon juice and honey to create a DIY face mask that calms the skin.
Growing Tips: Green tea plants do best in sandy soil, and can thrive in full sun and partially shaded areas. Be sure to use mulch when planting your seedlings or cuttings, and cut off dead buds when harvesting young leaves. Depending on your climate, your tea plants should leaf out at least once annually.
We’re not talking about candy here; licorice root is actually a proven skin care solution, especially for those with sensitive skin. It contains an active compound known as glabridin, which inhibits the production of melanin—this is the pigment that causes discoloration and can lead to dark marks after breakouts. Licorice also contains licochalcone, a compound with awesome anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Licorice root is a powerful acne fighter, helping control oil production while simultaneously soothing the skin.
Ingestible Benefits: Taking licorice root by mouth can help with a host of digestive issues, including heartburn, gastritis, and stomach ulcers. It can also relieve pain from a sore throat, ease coughing, and combat bacterial infections.
Topical Benefits: Mix dried licorice root with boiling water to create a salve that you can apply to lesions and acne blemishes. Use lotions and skin treatments that contain the healing power of licorice root extract to even skin tone and combat breakouts.
Growing Tips: This fragrant root does best in full sun. Plant live licorice roots in stony soil; if you’re starting from seeds, be sure to soak them for 2 hours and stratify them for at least 3 weeks. To stratify, simply place seeds onto a moistened paper towel, and keep it in the fridge. Once stratified, place seedlings in a thin layer of moist soil.
Witch hazel has been used for centuries to help heal and prevent a variety of skin ailments. It’s filled with tannins and polyphenols, which help to reverse cellular damage, reduce inflammation and swelling, and soothe wounds. Tannins also help remove excess oil from the surface of your skin, which may help prevent breakouts. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, witch hazel can help protect against DNA damage from exposure to UV light.
Topical Benefits: Add the extract of your witch hazel plant to water or alcohol to make a concentrated solution. Apply this solution on your skin directly to calm inflammation, prevent breakouts, and reduce swelling.
Growing Tips: This unique looking plant doesn’t require much maintenance. They do best in moist soil but can thrive in areas prone to dry soil. Categorized as an understory plant, these plants can actually do well in full sun or partially shaded areas. These shrubs can reach up to 30 feet high, so be sure to do your pruning and shaping as you see fit from the time they first begin sprouting.