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Herbals for Acne


LAS VEGAS—Sadly, while some women are battling wrinkles, they also face acne attacks, as this skin problem affects more than the youth. Adults, and teens alike, who are concerned with conventional products, have the option to address this issue with natural products, according to Jeanette Jacknin, M.D., president, Dr. Jacknin’s Skincare LLC, in her presentation, “The Best New Naturals for Acne and Moisturizing Cosmeceuticals" at SupplySide

She discussed natural ingredients, such as tea tree oil, witch hazel, burdock root, white willow bark, green tea, feverfew turmeric and licorice that have shown to be effective against acne and rosacea.

Tea tree oil, native to Australia, is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-septic, she said, adding aboriginals have long used the leaves for cuts, burns, infections, colds and sore throats. Clinical trials have shown it is active against S. Aureus, MRSA, fungi, dandruff, candida, herpes and scabies. However, she added tea tree oil should only be applied topically because ingesting it could cause skin irritation, redness, blistering, drying and itching.

Like tea tree oil, native populations used witch hazel to treat cuts, as well as sore muscles and insect bites. But these natives were found in the Americas as the herb grows naturally form Canada to Florida. Witch hazel is a strong antioxidant good for acne, cuts, abrasions, sunburns, bruises, psoriasis, eczema, ingrown nails, insect bites and poison ivy. Jacknin also noted it helps shrink blood vessels, making it good for rosacea, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, laryngitis and swimmer’s ear.

The flower stocks of burdock root taste like artichoke, but skin-care manufactures like this natural ingredients for its polyphenols, phytosterols, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids (EFAs). Jacknin noted using burdock orally and topically is best way to treat acne lesions. It is also good for boils, abscesses, burns, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.

Like salicylic acid, Jacknin said white willow bark is the first line of topically defense against acne because it is a good exfoliant, offers sebum control, is anti-septic and prevents pores from clogging. White willow bark is a good nutraceutical, she said, because it is similar to aspirin chemically, but is not as irritating to the stomach; however, it may irritate the skin if applied topically.

A common skin-care ingredient, green tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat asthma, angina and vascular disease. It contains carotenoids, tocopherols, vitamin C, minerals and catechins, and has shown anti-carcinogen, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Topical green tea formulations have been shown to reduce sun damage, Jacknin said, by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation.

Feverfew is prized for its anti-inflammatory actions, which have reduced fevers, headaches, joint pain and heart problems.  For skin care, this herb native to the Balkan Peninsula controls rosacea, according to in vivo and in vitro studies.

Turmeric is used in Ayuvedic medicines for its anti-septic, anti-bacterial and inflammatory properties. In cosmeceuticals, turmeric shines as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, fragrance and dye. It has been used for the prevention and treatment of psoriasis, acne, rosacea, wounds, burns, eczema, sun damage and premature aging.

Jacknin ended her presentation with licorice’s ability to help support the adrenal glad, cleanse the colon, support lung health and reduce stomach ulcers. When applied topically, it brightens skin and is an “excellent choice" for hyperpigmentation, she said.

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