Introduction Take a second to look at your hair care routine. Does it only consist of shampoo and conditioner? We hate to break it to
The Best Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients You Should Look Out For
Dealing with inflamed skin can be a real chore and an unpleasant task. Inflamed skin is often red, raw, itchy, painful, swollen, and sometimes even peeling. Any kind of contact with the inflamed area is usually painful. What you want the most is to soothe and calm the inflammation so it is less uncomfortable. But what is inflamed skin and why do we get it anyway?
Skin inflammation is essentially a reaction produced by your body in response to an irritant. It is actually a response from the body’s immune system! The immune system is extremely crucial to keep our body healthy by detecting, fighting, and neutralizing foreign invaders. It is a very complex system of cells and proteins that defend the body against infections. The immune system actually keeps track of every germ or infectious microbe that we have encountered so that it has a playbook of how to destroy the germ once it is encountered again. This is what we mean by building up immunity against infections and germs! When the immune system fights against these foreign germs and microbes, inflammation in the skin can occur. The cells of the immune system involved in combating and causing inflammation are different in type. The cells that produce a reaction will release a number of substances which causes the blood vessels to widen in width which makes the vessels more permeable. Permeability of the vessels is important as it allows the response to travel to the area of infection quicker. This widening of blood vessels is also the cause of the symptoms of inflammation that can be visibly seen, including redness, warmth, and swelling. Usually, the skin gets inflamed due to an infection, some underlying diseases or conditions, and allergic reactions.
There are a number of symptoms that you can look out for to know whether you are experiencing skin inflammation. A rash is one of the most typical ways to tell if you have skin inflammation. Other common symptoms include a burning or stinging sensation, bumpiness, redness, a warm and tingling sensation, rawness, bleeding, and cracking of the skin.
Targeting the root cause of the inflammation from inside usually sounds like the best way to go. However, in the course of treatment, you will definitely want some topical products to help bring down the swelling and provide some alleviation to the discomfort.
Licorice extract is excellent at soothing and calming down the swelling, itchiness, and redness. Licorice extract has compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit the inflammation by targeting the inflammation process itself. It is also a great antioxidant that will contain and reduce the pigmentation produced in the skin in the healing process. This will lead to a much brighter complexion and a reduction in the degree of post-inflammatory pigmentation you will experience. You can try licorice extract in the form of a serum that multitasks with anti-pigmentation efforts.
Green tea is a well-known ingredient for soothing and calming the skin. This property is thanks to the abundance of plant polyphenols called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (ECGC) in green tea, which is good for reducing inflammation. These compounds can also help to protect the skin from the damaging free radicals in UV rays, calm down redness, and even combat aging. It is effective as both a topical product and through consumption in the form of tea. Green tea also contains a certain level of caffeine, so if you are someone who needs caffeine to function you can consider switching from dehydrating coffee to the much more nutritious and beneficial green tea that will still give you a caffeine kick.
Turmeric is a super good anti-inflammatory product thanks to curcumin, a compound in turmeric that is known for reducing inflammation within the body. This Eastern spice and its vibrant yellow color is a strong antioxidant that can inhibit the production of the molecules which cause inflammation to occur. You can find turmeric in many beauty products, and one of the best ways to use it is as a mask. Masks containing turmeric usually go along with other soothing ingredients like ginger and cucumber to help cool and calm the skin.
This exotic-sounding plant is also known as tiger grass and has long been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, it is so good as a natural healing medicine that even tigers in the wild use it to heal their wounds. After being wounded in a fight with other tigers, a tiger would roll around in Centella Asiatica to heal their injuries faster. That’s how it got the name tiger grass! Centella Asiatica soothes the skin and reduces the redness. It can also help to reinforce and strengthen the skin’s barrier which in turn can combat the effects of sun damage. A strong skin barrier is crucial to reducing inflammation as inflamed skin often has a damaged or weak barrier that results in environmental elements being able to penetrate the skin and cause inflammation and reactions. Centella Asiatica turns products green due to its natural tint, which in fact can act as a neutralizer and color corrector against redness.
Another classic soothing tea-based ingredient, chamomile contains natural compounds that are known to calm down the skin as a topical treatment. Chamomile reduces the results of inflammation by inhibiting the processes by which inflammation occurs. You don’t even need to go and buy a whole new product with chamomile as an ingredient, you can use the tea bags and leaves directly! Simply steep a tea bag of chamomile in some warm water and use it as a direct compress, or you can prepare a bath for yourself and add some chamomile tea bags for a soothing spa-like chamomile soak.
These are some of the most effective ingredients you can calm and soothe inflammation with. It doesn’t hurt that some are kitchen products that you can easily access and apply with no need to spend too much money! But of course, if your inflammation is severe or caused by an infection and allergy, you will want to see a doctor to get diagnosed. Medical advice is the best way to move forward from more serious inflammation.
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