#1 Aloe Vera
Those who’ve handled an aloe vera plant will know that not only does the “flesh” of the plant have a clear and jelly-like texture, it also has a slippery sticky gel fluid. And while most of us recognise aloe vera as a healing and soothing ingredient, how does it actually do so? Aloe vera contains high levels of vitamins, sugars and minerals which provide skin with hydration, calm irritated skin and accelerate the process of healing. Plus, it also helps that aloe vera feels cool to the skin so it also relieves stinging skin instantly.
Try: Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Cucumber And Green Tea, $15 (118 ml).
If your skin is red and feels hot to the touch, calm it down with generous spritzes of an aloe vera face mist. We like this Mario Badescu facial spray for a burst of refreshing hydration. Infused with cucumber, green tea and aloe vera, it soothes and hydrates skin instantly while dousing it with protective antioxidants. You can use it anytime during the day, under or over makeup. For the ultimate post-sun antidote, pop it into the refrigerator and spritz liberally over your face and body for a cooling and calming fix.
#2 Calendula Flower
Traditionally consumed to treat tummy aches and boost immunity, calendula is rich in beneficial compounds that not only protects and strengthens our cells, but also has anti-inflammatory effects. Similarly when applied topically, calendula helps keep bacteria at bay and provides skin with powerful antioxidants to protect it from the environment. And due to its ability to hydrate without stimulating sebum glands activity, calendula is also often found in skincare products targeted at those with oily and acne-prone skin.
Try: Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner, $59 (250 ml),
A cult favourite, Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner has been well-loved by fans for its ultra-gentle formula which instantly soothes and hydrates the skin. Supported by allantoin and great burdock extract, this refreshing toner inhibits the proliferation of bacteria and keeps skin supple.
If the first thing that comes to your mind is tea just before bed time, you’re on the right track. In addition to the relaxing properties of chamomile extract, chamomile is also great in reducing redness for skin that is irritated and inflamed. This is because it has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits, and can also be used to provide relief for those with dry and itching skin as well as acne.
READ MORE: Here’s How Antioxidants Can Help Give You A Nicer Smile And Better Skin
Try: Arcona Chamomile Balm, $45 (15 ml).
If you are plagued with dry and redness-prone skin that is also susceptible to breakouts, try this. With a rich balm-like texture, it glides smoothly over your skin to provide instant comfort for dry and itching skin. Thanks to its formula of blue chamomile and calendula, it helps repair capillary damage to reduce signs of redness while helping to rebuild skin’s barrier. Meanwhile, powerful antioxidants like vitamin E protect skin against further damage and panthenol locks in moisture.
#4 Colloidal Oat
If all you can think of is a healthy, fibre-rich breakfast, it’s time to reconsider. The humble oat has been used soothe itching, provide moisture, cleanse the skin and protect it against further irritation. Colloidal oat, in particular, is when oats are ground into an ultra-fine powder form so that it mixes well into any carrier base. In addition to whipping oats into your DIY calming face mask, incorporating colloidal oat into your daily routine also means that your skin gets bathed in a high concentration of vitamins, proteins, lipids, polysaccharides, minerals and flavonoids. This means that any irritation will be nipped in the bud as your skin barrier is restored and rebuilt for smoother, more supple skin.
Try: Tatcha The Indigo Cream, $140 (50 ml).
Containing 2 per cent colloidal oatmeal, this fragrance-free face cream is a great way to calm redness-prone skin while replenishing it with moisture and powerful antioxidants to fight off signs of ageing. Supported by humectants like glycerin and squalane which draws moisture to the skin, irritation is neutralised and your skin feels softer and smoother.
#5 Blue Tansy
A cousin of chamomile, blue tansy is has been widely used in aromatherapy as its mildly sweet and herbaceous scent is pleasant and calming. In recent years, however, it has gained popularity in skincare products. This is because of a compound it contains, called azulene. Also the same compound that’s responsible for the blue colour of creams and masks that is formulated with it, azulene has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits that helps to neutralise redness and balance skin’s moisture levels at the same time, which makes it great for those with combination to oily skin types.
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Try: Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Oil Balancing Azulene Infused Facial Oil, $112 (50 ml).
To improve skin clarity, try this facial oil from Herbivore. It is a blend of botanical oils, including blue tansy oil to provide skin with fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Apply about five drops onto palms and press into skin. Wait for about one to two minutes to allow the oil to completely absorb into the skin before following with makeup. Over time, skin hydration is improved while sebum production is regulated. Skin texture is also plumper and smoother as it is able to better hold moisture in.
You’ll often see this one in anti-ageing skincare, as soy contains compounds called phytosterols and isoflavones that have the potential to improve skin’s barrier function, elasticity and pigmentation. In addition, soy extract has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to keep bacteria at bay and speed up cellular repair.
Try: ReFa Expression Rising Lotion, $100 (180 ml).
Reap the healing and regenerative benefits that soy extract has with ReFa Expression Rising Lotion. Formulated with Phytopolyamine, soy bean and juniper extracts, it is a fast-absorbing lotion that stimulates micro-circulation and lymphatic drainage. This means that over time, skin regeneration is accelerated and cellular detoxification is optimised for a smoother and firmer complexion.
#7 Centella Asiatica
Also known as “tiger grass” as it’s the preferred plant for tigers to rub their bodies on whenever they have cuts, Centella Asiatica has great anti-inflammatory properties and helps compromised skin heal faster. Moreover, it is a powerful antioxidant (thanks to its active compound, madecassoside), is rich in amino acids that are effective in hydrating irritated skin, and is also effective in rebuilding skin’s protective barrier layer.
Try: Dr. Jart+Cicapair Night Re.Pair, $68 (30 x 3 ml).
Designed to repair and protect even the most fragile of skin, this overnight treatment works to soothe any itching and stinging sensation, hydrate parched and flaky skin as well as support cellular regeneration. Infused with Centella Asiatica, it cocoons irritated skin in a balm-like barrier so you can notice reduced redness and less sensitised skin by the time you wake up in the morning.
#8 Olive Oil
We all know about the health benefits of ingesting olive oil. Its high level of monounsaturated fats help to promote cardiovascular health when transported around the body. Similarly, olive oil is packed with benefits to your skin when applied topically. Rich in a compound called squalane, it is extremely effective in providing skin with moisture as well as improving its ability to retain moisture. In addition, olive oil is also packed with antioxidants that help to undo the damage that sun exposure has done on the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and UV-triggered pigmentation. Finally, it also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to make it a great option for those with eczema.