Which orange herbs are great for my skin?
There are some amazing plants with brilliant orange colors, related to being high in beta carotene. Sea buckthorn, marigolds, and carrots all contain this glowing orange pigment, plus other amazing nutrients that are great for the skin. Below, is an overview of each of these three herbs, and some scientific studies demonstrating their skin improving potential. Plus, try the three easy skin recipes containing these orange beauties to help make your skin look radiant!
3 Amazing Orange Herbs for Your Skin
Also called seaberry, sea buckthorn is a coastal shrub that has been used in folk remedies as a skin softener. It is rich in vitamins E and A as well as carotenoids and palmitoleic acid; all of which are known for improving skin (1). A human study has also revealed it may help reduce the signs of aging by increasing cutaneous thickness (2). Further, it may be helpful for skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (3).
Rubbing carrier oils with this plant’s berries on your face will create a stained orange shine for about 15 minutes, until it absorbs. Here is an easy five ingredient recipe with sea buckthorn, rose hip oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E, and helichrysum essential oil that you can blend together in just a few minutes: Orange Glow Face Serum Recipe.
Also known as calendula, marigolds contain carotenes as well as phenolic acids, flavonoids, sterols, other terpenoids, and triterpenes, which have antioxidant and free radical reducing capabilities for the skin (4). Calendula has shown in human studies to reduce wound healing time (5), as well as acute dermatitis (6). Additional studies have demonstrated potential for the plant as skin protective against UV rays (7), effective for psoriasis (8), having the ability to improve skin tone (9), reduce diaper rash (10), and protect against skin damage and aging (11).
With a distinct aroma, marigolds offer an aromatic pleasure to at home skincare recipes. Grow your marigolds organically, and then harvest them to make this infused calendula oil recipe: Calendula Skin Serum Recipe.
High in vitamin A, also called retinol, carrots have shown through research to aid in skin healing. The plant also contains vitamin C, a skin antioxidant. In preliminary studies, carrot oil showed potential in fighting skin cancer (12). In another study, a cream made with extracts of carrot root reduced skin wound healing time in vivo; human studies are warranted (13).
Carrot seeds, flowers, and roots have been used for various skincare products. Try this carrot root face mask recipe for improved skin tone, texture, and color:
Carrot Honey Face Mask
- 2 whole organic carrots, chopped and cooked until very soft
- 2 Tbsp of honey
- 1/2 cup of oats
Mix the three ingredients together. Then, apply to the face as a mask. Next, relax and let the mask set for about 15 minutes. Then, gently wash off with warm water and a soft wash cloth.
Eat Orange Herbs for Your Skin!
Extracts from these plants have shown beneficial for topical use on the skin. When plants rich in beta-carotene are eaten, they may also help improve skin quality. So eat your carrots, take a slice of pumpkin pie, or grind up a papaya in a smoothie for glowing skin! Here are a few studies:
- A supplement of beta carotene was protective against UV skin damage in humans (14).
- In a study with 43 white males, ingesting beta-cerotene improved skin color and attractiveness to women, but had little benefit on overall health (15).
Orange Herb References
- Zeb, A. (2004). Important therapeutic uses of sea buckthorn (Hippophae): a review. Journal of Biological Sciences, 4(5), 687-693.
- Yang, B., Bonfigli, A., Pagani, V., Isohanni, T., von-Knorring, A., Jutila, A., & Judin, V. P. (2009). Effects of oral supplementation and topical application of supercritical CO2 extracted sea buckthorn oil on skin ageing of female subjects. Journal of Applied Cosmetology, 27(1), 13.
- Yang, B., Kalimo, K. O., Tahvonen, R. L., Mattila, L. M., Katajisto, J. K., & Kallio, H. P. (2000). Effect of dietary supplementation with sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) seed and pulp oils on the fatty acid composition of skin glycerophospholipids of patients with atopic dermatitis. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry, 11(6), 338-340.
- Alnuqaydan, A. M., Lenehan, C. E., Hughes, R. R., & Sanderson, B. J. (2015). Extracts from Calendula officinalis offer in vitro protection against H2O2 induced oxidative stress cell killing of human skin cells. Phytotherapy Research, 29(1), 120-124.
- Duran, V., Matic, M., Jovanovć, M., Mimica, N., Gajinov, Z., Poljacki, M., & Boza, P. (2004). Results of the clinical examination of an ointment with marigold (Calendula officinalis) extract in the treatment of venous leg ulcers. International journal of tissue reactions, 27(3), 101-106.
- Pommier, P., Gomez, F., Sunyach, M. P., D’hombres, A., Carrie, C., & Montbarbon, X. (2004). Phase III randomized trial of Calendula officinalis compared with trolamine for the prevention of acute dermatitis during irradiation for breast cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 22(8), 1447-1453.
- Fonseca, Y. M., Catini, C. D., Vicentini, F. T., Nomizo, A., Gerlach, R. F., & Fonseca, M. J. V. (2010). Protective effect of Calendula officinalis extract against UVB-induced oxidative stress in skin: Evaluation of reduced glutathione levels and matrix metalloproteinase secretion. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 127(3), 596-601.
- Roopashree, T. S., Dang, R., Rani, R. S., & Narendra, C. (2008). Antibacterial activity of antipsoriatic herbs: Cassia tora, Momordica charantia and Calendula officinalis. International Journal of Applied research in Natural products, 1(3), 20-28.
- Akhtar, N., Zaman, S. U., Khan, B. A., Amir, M. N., & Ebrahimzadeh, M. A. (2011). Calendula extract: effects on mechanical parameters of human skin. Acta Pol. Pharm, 68(5), 693-701.
- Panahi Y, Sharif MR, Sharif A, et al. A randomized comparative trial on the therapeutic efficacy of topical aloe vera and Calendula officinalis on diaper dermatitis in children. ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:810234.
- Bernatoniene, J., Masteikova, R., Davalgiene, J., Peciura, R., Gauryliene, R., Bernatoniene, R., … & Muselik, J. (2011). Topical application of Calendula officinalis (L.): Formulation and evaluation of hydrophilic cream with antioxidant activity. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 5(6), 868-877.
- Zeinab, R. A., Mroueh, M., Diab-Assaf, M., Jurjus, A., Wex, B., Sakr, A., & Daher, C. F. (2011). Chemopreventive effects of wild carrot oil against 7, 12-dimethyl benz (a) anthracene-induced squamous cell carcinoma in mice. Pharmaceutical biology, 49(9), 955-961.
- Patil, M. V. K., Kandhare, A. D., & Bhise, S. D. (2012). Pharmacological evaluation of ethanolic extract of Daucus carota Linn root formulated cream on wound healing using excision and incision wound model. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 2(2), S646-S655.
- Heinrich, U., Gärtner, C., Wiebusch, M., Eichler, O., Sies, H., Tronnier, H., & Stahl, W. (2003). Supplementation with β-carotene or a similar amount of mixed carotenoids protects humans from UV-induced erythema. The Journal of nutrition, 133(1), 98-101.
- Foo, Y. Z., Rhodes, G., & Simmons, L. W. (2017). The carotenoid beta-carotene enhances facial color, attractiveness and perceived health, but not actual health, in humans. Behavioral Ecology, 28(2), 570-578.
There is no blue without yellow and without orange.
-Vincent Van Gogh
Blog by: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA (ARC), NAHA and AIA Professional Member, LMT
This categorized compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use. These statements are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. The information at this page has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Consult a Doctor before using herbs and essential oils if you have medical conditions, are taking medications, or have questions.