Skin Soothing Ingredient: Mugwort
Medicinal plants and botanical extracts are often marketed in skincare as providing naturally-derived ingredients for skin health without harsh or irritating side effects. In this ingredient spotlight series, we will be learning more about Mugwort, a popular botanical skin soothing ingredient, its benefits for the skin and how it can be incorporated into our skincare.
What is Mugwort?
Artemisia vulgaris, commonly known as Mugwort, is a perennial weed that grows in Asia, Europe and North America. It is a type of plant that belongs to the daisy family. It has a history of being used as a medicinal plant to address irregular menstruation. In Chinese tradition, people use Mugwort to help relieve stomach pain and treat gastric ulcers or hepatitis. Acting as a natural antioxidant, Mugwort can protect your skin. This is by preventing the production of free radicals which can damage your skin cells. Hence, it has anti-aging effects, which help to improve the appearance of your skin. Furthermore, Mugwort, as a skin soothing ingredient, has anti-inflammatory properties as well. These properties target dry and irritated skin effectively.
Benefits of Mugwort
Mugwort helps regulate the activation of immune cells by targeting cytokine and macrophages in inflamed tissues. Cytokines are responsible for activating the growth rate of skin cells. Mugwort helps to reduce the production levels of specific pro-inflammatory cytokines, hence keeping inflammation under control and inhibiting excessive cell growth.
On the other hand, macrophages defend the body by digesting cellular debris, foreign substances and harmful microbes. Under normal physiological conditions, macrophages release signalling molecules to help mediate the immune system’s regular responses. Inflammation occurs when an excess of signalling molecules is produced, causing immune cells to attack one’s own tissues instead of foreign substances. Mugwort helps to regulate the production of signalling molecules and prevent macrophages from triggering an excessive immune response.
Mugwort also contains high levels of vitamin E, which helps to nourish and hydrate skin. This helps to create a stronger skin barrier and protect against further inflammation. Collectively, the anti-inflammatory properties augment the function of mugwort as a skin soothing ingredient.
Acts as an antioxidant
Mugwort is a natural source of antioxidant compounds. They limit oxidative stress by scavenging the free radicals caused by an accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body from ultraviolet rays. They also activate the defence enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase. Mouse and cell-based trials show that mugwort helps prevent cellulaar damage by ultraviolet rays. It also stimulates collagen, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines. Plant-derived antioxidants can protect the human body with little or no side effects which is another plus point.
In addition, mugwort possesses antimicrobial properties that are comparable to that of a standard antibiotic. This helps to prevent the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi that cause certain skin conditions. For example, acne is a multi-factorial skin disease linked to the presence of a bacterium, C. acnes, which generates inflammation. Microbial infection can hinder the progress of wound healing which is particularly important for patients with acne scars. When Mugwort inhibits microorganism growth, wound healing can take place naturally. Consequently, new skin cells can regenerate and lead to tissue or scar recovery.
A key component in the dermatologist formulated Miel Honey™ Cleanser is our featured skin soothing ingredient, Mugwort. The Miel Honey™ Cleanser is a gentle cleanser that lathers up using medical grade honey and botanical emulsifying ingredients. Commercial cleansers that provide a foamy lather tend to contain harsh surfactants, particularly sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), that may remove the skin’s natural lipids and upset skin pH levels. Patients with acne may find that such harsh cleansers irritate the skin and can potentially worsen acne conditions. This cleanser gently cleanses the skin without stripping away its natural oils, yet providing a thorough cleanse with antibacterial honey. It is perfect for all skin types, especially acne-prone skin.
Use the Miel Honey™ Cleanser for thorough cleansing of skin with botanical emulsifiers leaving a clean yet moisturised feel. It contains Arnica Montana Extract which stabilizes skin and reduces flaking.