All hail Rosemary, it is a healing wonder herb.
It’s been used for centuries, for treating many skin disorders:
- relieving pain
- improving circulation
- improving skin tone
- active antimicrobial
This versatile herb can be used as a tea, a liquid tincture, or herbal extract.
It’s a remarkable herbal powerhouse.
So join us, as we reveal how to get the most out of this wonder herb, topically.
Skin Benefits of Rosemary
What is rosemary herb extract?
A powerful antioxidant
Rosemary herb contains many valuable compounds that have rich antioxidant properties:
- rosmarinic, carnosic acid, carnosol, rosmaridiphenol, rosmanol, ursolic acid
These potent antioxidants calm triggered inflammation in the skin’s tissues, protect tissue from cellular degradation, and inhibit oxidative cell damage caused by pollutants, stress, and UV.
Rosemary’s many benefits
You may think that the benefits may be anecdotal when it comes to a natural ingredient, but there’s plenty of science to back up the power of this little plant.
The fact that Rosemary is so rich in several compounds makes it very versatile:
Antioxidant: It has high potency antioxidant properties, the same as Goji berries, protecting the skin and preventing signs of premature ageing. Carnosic acid, carnosol, rosmaridiphenol, and ursolic acid combined, offer amazing antioxidant properties. Their role is to scavenge free radicals and hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorous acid (HOCl), a compound produced in our bodies at various sites of inflammation. It can also protect the skin against UVA light, the ageing ray.
Antibacterial and Antimicrobial: Research has shown how rosemary’s antimicrobial properties are effective in killing certain strains of bacteria and fungi.
Anti-inflammatory: Ursolic and rosmarinic acid are powerfully calming and help reduce swelling and puffiness of the skin. It also helps to soothe the skin, making it the perfect choice for skin conditions like eczema and inflamed acne.
Acne Inflammation: The whole-plant extract has been shown to reduce acne inflammation and fight the bacteria that cause acne outbreaks.
Astringent: The plant’s powerful astringent properties make it perfect for oily skin types because it helps slow the flow of oil within the skin.
Anti-ageing: The antioxidant properties found in rosemary reinforce blood capillaries, helping to reduce the signs of ageing on the skin. It also contains ursolic acid; often referred to as the anti-ageing polyphenol because it may help restore the skin’s collagen bundles and elasticity. Furthermore, rosemary can stimulate the skin’s biological activity and cell growth, thus reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Preservative: Rosemary is an ideal natural preservative, helping to keep ingredients fresher for longer.
Regenerative: Rosemary has powerful wound-healing properties and improves the appearance of chronic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. This, combined with its antimicrobial properties, makes it fabulous for treating papules, pustules, and mild cases of acne.
A note on ursolic acid
Ursolic acid is a powerful Rosemary component that requires its own mention, which you can read about here.
This is a really wonderful rosemary component that has a real affinity with the skin and hair – can we get a drum roll, please!
Ursolic acid works interestingly – it actually forms an oil-resistant barrier, creating a waxy coating on our skin, so we get a little occlusion from it, keeping the good stuff in and the damaging outside pathogens out.
It is a pentacyclic triterpene acid that offers anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
In the area of dermatology, it is also showing promise as an anti-fungal ingredient. And as discussed above, it is a very effective antioxidant.
Ursolic acid is alleged to be good for hair growth and prevention of scalp irritation, which is why you’ll see rosemary included in many hair care products. The claim is that it can help hair growth by “stimulating blood flow in the scalp and activating hair cells”.
It may also positively affect blood circulation at the skin level, stimulating blood flow.
Rosemary oil can be sensitising
The type of rosemary extract is important.
Rosemary leaf extract should not be confused with rosemary essential oil, which contains volatile fragrance components that can cause sensitivity and irritation. If you are sensitive to fragrance, then you should possibly look out for this on the ingredient list.
However, the amount in rosemary extract is likely to be a risk because it doesn’t contain much, if any, of the rosemary oil’s volatile fragrance components.
If you are prone to skin sensitivity, we recommend doing a patch test, then monitor for 24 hours before smearing yourself in this wonder herb.
So, can rosemary do what the promises say? Pretty much, the answer is yes.
It can behave as a potent antioxidant, it can help reduce sebum production for particularly oily people, it can increase blood circulation in our skin. It also behaves as an anti-microbial and anti-viral ingredient, anti-inflammatory, and offers mild analgesic properties.
It is anti-ageing because it can help protect against UV damage, prevent free radical damage, protect against UV damage, and increase circulation, which will lead to improved skin tone.
Phew. All hail rosemary.
All things considered, it’s a great all-round wonder herb that has many skin-loving benefits.