Plant-based ingredients in skin-care products do more than just smell nice or look pretty. Herbs and botanicals have been used for thousands of years for their medicinal and dermatological properties, and they're only getting more popular: A 2009 study from Tulane Medical School reported that botanical extracts were the fastest growing category of cosmeceuticals, thanks in part to consumers' demand for organic and all-natural products. "Many believe that if a product can be safely ingested, it will also be safe for topical application," the authors wrote. [Source: Stallings and Lupo]
These products are usually high in antioxidants, since plants are constantly exposed to sunlight and must build up defenses against the harmful ultraviolet rays that come with it. [Source: Stallings and Lupo] In addition, many are also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. To reap some of the best-known benefits of herbs and botanicals, look for the following ingredients the next time you're shopping for skin care.