5 Benefits of Basil for Skin Care

By Erica Loop in Natural Products

Ocimum basilicum, a.k.a. basil, is much more than a side for your salad or a pesto ingredient. The use of basil for skin care is an often overlooked alternative to some conventional treatments. From the plant's leaves and flowers to its essence as an oil, it may offer a variety of benefits to help protect, clear, and clean your skin, so you can show off that glam glow!

basil leaf

1. Plant-Based Moisturizer

Dry, rough skin isn't always easy to overcome, but basil may be able to help. As an article published in Nutrition Today explains, when facial creams with oils or extracts from basil were compared with those without basil, the basil-infused versions did a better job enhancing moisture and decreasing roughness.

2. Herbal Acne Treatment

While basil can't cure acne, some research indicates the herb's oil may help to reduce this skin issue. According to an article published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies, basil oils may have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that could positively impact acne. Another study, cited in the Nutrition Today article, tested the juice from crushed fresh basil leaves as an acne treatment. In this study, the juice was equally as effective at treating acne as standard accepted options, such as oral tetracycline and facial sulfur lotion.

3. Sun Shield

Research published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences found that basil essential oil may provide some protection as a potentially viable sunscreen active ingredient. That said, more testing is still needed, and you shouldn't rely on basil or basil oil on its own to protect you from the sun's rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a water resistant broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

4. Wrinkle Reducer

The Nutrition Today article didn't only point to the moisturizing benefits of basil. It also cited the potential for wrinkle reduction when the concentrated extract of the leaves and flowers was infused into a facial skin cream.

5. Fungus Fighter

The essential oil from the basil plant may have antifungal properties, according to research published in the Journal of Phytopathology. While the herb's essential oil may have this skin-saving property, it may not work against every type of fungi. If you have a fungal skin infection, consult a medical professional for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Different types of fungi require individualized treatments.

leaf basil

The benefits of basil for skin care offer plant-based alternatives to cosmetic and hygiene products. Though a simple slough with a basil leaf won't quench parched skin or reduce wrinkles, science shows that the essential oil and some lotions made with the plant may have beneficial properties worth exploring.

Show us how you use your basil plant and tag @toms_of_maine on Instagram!

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Why It's Good

Basil has benefits galore! When it comes to your skin care routine, this tasty herb may help moisturize your skin, reduce wrinkles, and more.