17 Jul Experience Echinacea’s Superpowers with These 6 Products
Found in everything from baby powder to tea, Echinacea Purpurea is one of Earth’s most powerful flowers. Also called the purple coneflower, this North American flowering plant has long been harvested for its beauty and health benefits, and there are reports that it was used in early indigenous medicine by Native Americans to treat wounds, burns, insect bites, toothaches, coughs, snake bites and more over 400 years ago.
Today, the plant is cultivated and added to a wide range of products, including anti-aging cream, shampoo, cold remedies, perfumes, deodorants, makeup, face masks and much more.
So what is Echinacea Purpurea, exactly? This ultra-popular herb was named after the Greek word for hedgehog (echinos) because it features prickly scales and a cone-shaped seed head that resembles a hedgehog. This perennial herb is native to North America’s Midwestern region and features tall stems with single purple or pink flowers.
The plant is rich with active substances that contribute to its therapeutic nature, including polysaccharides, glycoproteins, alkamides, volatile oils and flavonoids. These beneficial ingredients are found in the plant’s petals, leaves and roots, which are often dried and then ground before being added to Echinacea products.
GreenEnvy™, a unique patent-protected variant of Echinacea Purpurea, contains a high concentration of the phytochemical Cichoric Acid, a potent natural antioxidant which helps protect and firm the skin by inhibiting the enzymes that break down collagen. This plant is the basis of all Farmacy products.
The Benefits of Echinacea: Healthy Skin and Beyond
The jury’s still out on whether or not Echinacea can provide medical benefits, but there are numerous studies proving its skin and hair-boosting superpowers. In fact, a study by pharmaceutical scientists at a Thai university found that skin care products enhanced with Echinacea purpurea could help significantly decrease the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin hydration.
Additionally, there have been reports indicating that the power-packed plant could be useful in preventing and treating warts and that it may help heal cuts and nurse skin burns. Echinacea can be used to boost your hair, skin and overall health.
- For Your Skin — One of the reasons Echinacea purpurea is often added to skin care products is that it contains healthy proteins and oils that can help lock in hydration. Additionally, Echinacea purpurea is believed to have natural anti-inflammatory properties and thought to help ward off pore-clogging bacteria because it has anti-microbial components.
- For Your Hair — You’ve probably noticed that many naturally-derived hair care products are made with Echinacea. That’s because the herb has been known to hydrate the scalp, effectively reducing dandruff and irritation. It may also promote hair growth by enhancing blood circulation and strengthening your hair follicles. Some research suggests that hair products with Echinacea purpurea may also make your hair look silkier, smoother and more lustrous.
- For Your Health — Present day medical uses for Echinacea purpurea include treatment for colds, respiratory infections and even cancer. Currently, there is little conclusive evidence to prove that it has any significant impact in such applications. With that being said, some studies do indicate that Echinacea could boost immune function, relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Some people also use Echinacea as a topical disinfectant to treat skin infections and to provide natural analgesic benefits to soothe burns and insect bites.
- For Your Mood — Not only has Echinacea long been used as a beauty and health booster, it has often also been touted as a way to treat mood swings, depression and low energy levels.
Whether consumed by store-bought or homemade Echinacea tea or in the form of supplements, Echinacea may be useful in helping to treat short-term mood swings. The reason for this is the plant’s built-in polysaccharides — natural carbohydrate molecules found in the body and other organisms — which are vital to helping stabilize and improve mood.
How to Use Echinacea
The power-packed benefits of Echinacea can be harnessed in a variety of manners, either by ingesting the plant (or extracts of it) in tea, supplements or foods or by introducing it to the bloodstream topically with lotions, creams and other topical treatments. If you are able to get your hands on raw Echinacea or Echinacea extract, you can create a multitude of healthy snacks, treats and homemade beauty products at home.
Some people even use Echinacea to make healthy syrups, skin tinctures, hair masks and baked goods. Take a look at Mark Veeder’s personal recipe for Elderberry and Echinacea Immune Boosting Syrup. This syrup is super-charged with a high concentration of vitamin C and will help boost the immune system allowing the body to fight off germs.
As with any herb, we highly recommend starting with a small amount to ensure that you don’t have any allergic reactions or irritations from the plant. When applying Echinacea products to the skin, always test in a small area and monitor for a reaction before applying all over the face or body.
6 Echinacea-Enriched Products to Add to Your Beauty Routine
After taking into consideration the many benefits of the Echinacea plant, it’s no surprise that many skin care, beauty and makeup brands have begun to implement this powerful additive into their formulas. As with any product, you always want to make sure you follow the label and instructions so that you get the most benefits without irritation or redness.
Generally speaking, Echinacea purpurea is usually safe for those with sensitive skin. However, there are rare instances of allergic reactions, so always use with caution! Ready to get going on your Echinacea-enriched beauty routine? Make sure to try out some of these top-quality products along the way. Here are our picks for products infused with Echinacea.
Sunscreen: Farmacy Green Screen — Featuring our amazing Echinacea GreenEnvy™, which is tested to be 300 percent more powerful than regular Echinacea purpurea, this protective and nourishing 30 SPF sunscreen uses Echinacea alongside zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to simultaneously guard the skin against sun damage and restore hydration, leaving behind an even-toned complexion. It’s also enriched with beneficial antioxidants that nourish the skin and protect it from damage caused by pollution, free radicals and possibly even damaging ambient blue light.
Hair Serum: Julien Farel Magnifique — This anti-aging Echinacea hair serum is equipped with Echinacea extract to energize and sustain healthy hair renewal. Additional additives like hyaluronic acid may help to deeply hydrate and beautify the hair. The added Echinacea is said to help stimulate and enhance the hair’s pigments and may slow the growth of graying hair. This product rings up for a hefty $135 per 1.7 fluid ounce, but it’s consistently been ranked as one of the top anti-aging hair serums!
Makeup Remover and Cleanser: Farmacy Green Clean — Formulated with Echinacea GreenEnvy™, Farmacy’s patent-protected variant of Echinacea Purpurea, this two-in-one makeup remover and cleansing balm gently and thoroughly dissolves away makeup and sunscreen while refining the skin’s surface, leaving behind a younger-looking complexion. This Echinacea makeup remover also features sunflower oil, ginger root oil, Moringa tree extract and papaya tree extract for extra healing power.
Bronzer: Miljo Cosmetics Bronzer — Why not add a little therapeutic Echinacea to your makeup routine? With Miljo Cosmetics’ Bronzer, now you can! This mineral-based bronzer features crushed mica, silica and magnesium for smooth, even application and is fortified with Echinacea and sea kelp to help soothe the skin and boost the immune system. Additional vitamins, anti-oxidants and sun protectors are built into the formula to ensure that your skin looks and feels great after application.
Anti-Aging Serum: Farmacy Invincible — Not only does Farmacy’s Invincible Root Cell Anti-Aging Serum harness the powers of Echinacea with Echinacea GreenEnvy™, but it also uses a unique triple hyaluronic acid complex to improve the skin’s natural hydration and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Triple Hyaluronic Acid Complex, which is produced via biotechnology, boosts the skin’s natural moisture, utilizing three specific molecule weights to target skin. Together with extras like vitamin C, the ingredients in this excellent anti-aging product leave skin bright, even and radiant. It will also help to reduce the appearance of freckles, dark spots and sun damage.
Nail Polish Remover: Happy Nails Nail Polish Remover — Rather than drying out your skin like typical nail polish removers, Happy Nails Nail Polish Remover uses calcium and Echinacea extract to slough away layers of paint while restoring the hydration and smoothness of your skin. Because it swaps moisture-sucking acetone for beneficial Echinacea and calcium, it will help to encourage a healthier nail recovery process while promoting growth and healing micro-cracks in your nails. The calcium can also helped improve nail strength.