Spring Skincare Essentials: The Top 5 Plants Your Skin Needs This Season

Plants are one of my favorite ways to connect with the season, to touch in with the energetics of the Earth in a palpable, observable, concrete, and animated way. It's like plants pop up at just the perfect time each year to remind you of where you exist in time and space. For those of us who have the tendency to get lost in time, plants offer this unique ability to bring us to ground and remind us that we too have these innate cycles.

I also love how different plants come into our awareness at different times to offer their support in the ebbs and flows, ups and downs, ins and outs of the season. Our bodies need different things as the season and its energetics shift. These different needs often show up as dryness, congestion, inflammation, irritation, redness, puffiness, or any of the other numerous ways our skin communicates with us.

In the Spring, our skin is especially busy assisting our body's natural detoxification processes, moving out accumulations that may result from slower movement in the Winter. So, sometimes our skin needs extra support!

Here are a few of my favorite plants for calming, decongesting, soothing, hydrating, and generally nourishing your skin during the Spring.

Chamomile - Cooling, restorative, and soothing to inflamed tissue, Chamomile is one of my favorite plants to use to tend to skin. Why? For one thing, it's incredibly gentle while being wildly effective! Chamomile knows that more isn't always better, so it gently coaxes skin to calm down any over-reactivity. In the Spring, when the liver is especially active and our systems are working hard to rid themselves of accumulation that occurred over the winter, skin can take the brunt of any overburdened organs. Often this can lead to inflammatory conditions like eczema, breakouts, and what might look like hot, angry skin.

Enter Chamomile. The perfect ally for anything hot and angry.

Energetically, I really love Chamomile for soothing tense liver qi, especially when there's any inner child parts involved. To me, it feels like Chamomile scoops up that tantruming inner toddler, affirms her feelings, and reminds her that she's not alone.

Can you tell I adore Chamomile? I really do. Hence, why it's in so many of our products. Here's a few of my favorites for the Spring:

Sirenis Cleansing Balm, Vesper Cleansing Oil, Luna Balancing Serum, Verbeia Calming Tonic, Anam Cara Restorative Balm, and, of course, our gorgeous Chamomile Single-Farm Hydrosol.

If you're curious about exploring Chamomile as an internal medicine, you can find it in Iris Elderflower & Rose tea as well as our farm-direct, regeneratively-grown Chamomile flowers.

Calendula - There's so much to say about Calendula. One of these days perhaps I'll do a full on monograph about it, and if you're curious about more of its internal benefits, I wrote a blog post about it here. For now, I'll say this:

While Calendula boasts many virtues, lymphatic support and cellular regeneration properties are at the root of why it’s such an effective remedy inside and out. Stagnant lymph is often an underlying pattern of many chronic skin conditions, so moving stagnant lymph is key for healthy skin. Along with Calendula’s ability to restore skin at the cellular level, this lymph-supporting action is why it’s a key ingredient in so many of our products.

Deeply restorative for damaged skin, our Calendula mends and calms irritated, inflamed tissue. Lovingly grown for us on a regenerative farm here in Oregon, these gorgeous blooms are foundational for many of our products. With their abundance of carotenoids, fatty acids, and resins, Calendula flowers are reparative to all forms of skin damage including hyperpigmentation, scarring, and sun damage.

You can find Calendula in most of our products, but it's highlighted in our Spring Collection in Vesper Cleansing Oil, Sirenis Cleansing Balm, Luna Balancing Serum, and, of course, our Calendula Single-Farm Hydrosol. It plays a crucial lymph supportive role in our Aurora Breast Oil, which highlights its gentle-yet-effective alterative properties, especially when paired with massage.

Burdock - Calendula gets a lotta love for its topical uses, but Burdock is an incredible ally for skin used both internally and topically. Burdock Root assists in purifying and cleansing by drawing out impurities and carrying away cellular waste that can cause congestion and breakouts as well as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and very dry skin.

One of Burdock's superpowers is that it balances sebum/oil production whether it's in excess or deficiency. So if your skin is producing too much, it helps to decrease that need for overproduction. But if your skin is dry, it encourages your skin to produce more sebum to moisten and nourish your skin. In other words, it reminds your skin of its innate moisture balance and guides it back to that place.

Basically, any chronic skin condition would likely benefit from Burdock. It calms inflammation, balances oil production, moistens dry tissues, increases collagen production, feeds your skin important antioxidants, and fights acne.

You can find Burdock in Luna Balancing Serum, Verbeia Calming Tonic, Rosa Purifying Face Mask, and Anam Cara Restorative Balm.

Marshmallow Root - Associated with the water element, Marshmallow Root extinguishes excess fire in the tissues. One of the few moistening herbs, it rehydrates dry & irritated tissues, calms redness, softens skin, soothes sensitivity, and moistens dryness. While some struggle with increased blemishing in the Spring as the body moves through its natural detoxification processes, many others (myself included) struggle with dryness this time of year.

Marshmallow feels like a soft cushion for your skin cells, gently hydrating and nourishing them while they mend. While it has its own tissue-repairing properties, its magic lies in the way it reminds your tissues to be gentle, go slow, and to follow their own inner guidance toward health and radiance.

You can find Marshmallow Root in Soma Hydrating Mask, Rosa Purifying Mask, Aura Face Balm, and Ceres Replenishing Tonic as well as our Edesia Tulsi Chai.

You can also find it in one of my favorite underrated products: Cura Nipple Balm. While this product is amazing for fourth trimester care, it also makes for a phenomenal essential oil-free moisturizer. I use it all over both my little ones as well as a lip balm and face balm for myself. It's deeply hydrating, moisturizing, and tissue-mending. Don't be deterred by the name, grab a jar to have on hand as an all-purpose balm/salve!

Oregon Grape Root - I always knew about Oregon Grape Root but I didn't KNOW it until I moved to Oregon. I previously knew about it as a potent, widely available bitter plant that supported digestion and liver function. Which is true!

And I could also draw the connection between liver support and skin support. When your liver is happy, your hormones are more balanced, and your skin is more likely to be clear. But did you know that Oregon Grape is an effective topical medicine?

I had no idea!

It contains a potent antimicrobial compound called berberine that helps fight against acne-causing bacteria as well as other pathogens that cause skin infections. It has a long history of being used to address inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and other skin infections and it soothes, dry, scaly, itchy skin.

Because it can be a bit drying, I love pairing it with deeply hydrating colloidal oat, which we did in the Sylva Renewal Mask. This beautifully well-rounded mask also contains medicinal mushrooms like Cordyceps and Shiitake as well as Schisandra to plump and brighten your skin.

Have you tried it yet? We have a few jars left of this very special limited edition mask and I'm not sure when we'll be making it again.

Any blog post on Spring herbs just wouldn't be complete without mentioning this one...

Nettle - A tonic herb for inside and out, Nettle is essentially food for your skin. These deep green nutrient-dense leaves are packed with vital constituents like vitamins A,B,C,D,E,K, minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium, and polyphenol compounds that nourish your skin's cells and support each aspect of healthy skin functioning.

I believe that one of the most important things we can do for our skin is to give it the nutrients it needs to restore, repair, protect, and maintain itself. Nettle is a brilliant plant for doing just that. It's like a multivitamin for your skin packed with essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support your skin's many functions.

You can find Nettle in Aura Face Balm and Solis Antioxidant Serum, as well as our Orsa Postpartum Tea.

Do you have relationships with any of these plants already? Is there one in particular that calls to you?

For me, Oregon Grape Root has been beckoning to me for the last month. I'm coming up with new ways to engage with and listen to its wisdom.

How about you? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

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