Helichrysum: What It Is and Why It’s Good for Your Skin
There are several essential oils commonly recommended for better skin and to treat wounds. While helichrysum can help your skin in many ways by providing nutrients your body needs for improving skin repair, increasing collagen production, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, it’s especially noteworthy since it can help make your skin healthier as a whole!
Today, we’ll break down what exactly helichrysum is and why it’s good for your skin. Let’s get started!
What is Helichrysum?
Helichrysum, also known as Immortelle, is a type of daisy plant that flowers in a gorgeous, golden yellow color. It’s very easy to recognize, and is one of the more vibrant medicinal plants people have used for thousands of years as an essential oil. These flowers last for a long time in full bloom, so harvesting the plants to extract their essential oil is pretty easy.
The Mediterranean was the origin of the helichrysum plant. These days, of course, you can find it growing in California and tons of other places around the world, though it’s most commonly harvested in Croatia these days. While you can crush the leaves of the helichrysum plant for other medicinal benefits, most people use helichrysum as an essential oil that they rub into their skin, diluted by a carrier oil.
How Does Helichrysum Essential Oil Work?
This essential oil owes its healthy reputation to some pretty powerful compounds that do a lot for your skin's wellness. Specifically, it contains several antioxidants which can reduce free radical molecular damage, and it also provides your skin cells with the vitamins they need to regenerate properly.
Helichrysum is somewhat distinct from any other herbal wellness oils in that it also provides significant immune support. It has strong cleansing properties for particularly sweaty and musky parts of the body, too, and is a favorite of athletes to use on their feet!
In this way, helichrysum is a more defensive oil than many others you can find--it’s meant to work on the defensive, not the offensive!
Helichrysum Skin Benefits
Let’s break down all of the skin benefits you might get from using helichrysum topical salves and other wellness products with this wonderful extract!
Many people use helichrysum to reduce skin irritation and soothe redness. Because the essential oil is made up of plenty of antioxidants, rubbing some of the oil on your skin can make rashes appear less vibrant, reduce itchiness, and reduce your skin cells’ vulnerability to certain types of damage by supporting overall skin health.
Free radicals cause molecular damage to your cellular walls and inflame your skin, which can lead to longer-lasting skin damage like wrinkles, skin dryness, or dark spots. Managing free radical damage becomes more important as we get older and our bodies lose their abilities to fight off those molecules.
Green Goo’s Skin Repair Salve is a great example of a salve using helichrysum essential oil to help soothe irritated skin while nourishing, moisturizing, and improving overall skin appearance!
Skin Repair and Healing
The antioxidants contained within helichrysum essential oil provide even more benefits. They specifically help your skin produce more collagen and elastin.
Collagen is a key compound that your skin cells need to maintain their elasticity and durability. If your skin doesn't have enough collagen, it'll be firmer, drier, tougher, and will grow wrinkles and dark spots over time. This is why aging skin usually looks more wrinkly and much drier than younger skin. Your skin's cells just produce less collagen naturally over time.
Elastin is the same way, though it relates more to your skin’s softness and elasticity. More elastin means your skin will feel softer and appear younger, and look more radiant. Less elastin means the reverse. As with collagen, your body produces less elastin as it gets older.
Collagen and elastin are also important for skin repair and healing. Helichrysum’s antioxidants can directly promote your cells’ production of more collagen and elastin. Furthermore, the nutritional benefits from helichrysum’s many vitamins and minerals will help promote your skin’s natural healing abilities.
You can see this most accurately in the Green Goo Skin Repair Salve we just mentioned. The salve comes with other ingredients in addition to helichrysum, including yarrow, rosehip seed oil, aloe vera and vitamin E, to promote the body’s natural healing processes and get your skin back into shape in no time.
Contact dermatitis is technically a type of allergy. Helichrysum’s antioxidants can sometimes improve symptoms of allergic reactions by soothing irritation, especially if the allergens in question caused a rash. Rubbing a bit of a salve with helichrysum oil on irritated skin might just do the trick to get your skin to calm down.
Wrinkle and Dark Spot Reduction
As mentioned before, helichrysum contains several helpful antioxidants that can inspire better collagen and elastin production in your skin. This, in turn, will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots as you get older!
This possible benefit is a little less studied than the others, so scientists aren’t sure if helichrysum oil itself is responsible or if it’s just a side effect of helichrysum’s many vitamin and mineral benefits. Basically, helichrysum provides antioxidants and, as a result, creates a healthier skin environment overall. Acne often crops up as a result of excess bacteria and dead skin cells clogging the pores, which is less likely to happen in healthy skin.
The logic goes that by using a holistic essential oil like helichrysum, you will produce healthier skin and make acne less likely.
Are There Any Side Effects?
The FDA has stated that helichrysum is generally safe for regular use. Like with all essential oils, you should only ever rub it into your skin if the oil has been diluted by a carrier oil or is a part of a salve or balm. In addition, there is a small chance for an allergic reaction depending on your body's unique chemical reaction to the helichrysum, which is more likely if you’re already generally allergic to plant-based ingredients.
Because of this, we recommend that you do a skin patch test (i.e. only put a little bit of the oil on your skin to try it first) before making it a regular part of your skin care routine. With Green Goo, you can also easily wash off any product with some warm water and a washcloth!
Furthermore, helichrysum essential oil should never be ingested, just like all other essential oils. Doing so can result in significant negative effects like poisoning and organ failure.
Does Consuming Helichrysum Help Your Skin?
While you can consume helichrysum flowers as an herbal tea, it doesn’t provide the same benefits for your skin when you ingest it versus using it topically, since your body is absorbing the compounds in different ways.
People have said the tea has helped them to:
- Calm mild stomach upset
- Support liver function
- Support healthy digestion
- Protecs gallbladder health
If you want to use helichrysum to help your skin, you’ll need to use the essential oil and rub it directly on your skin instead of consuming it, though consuming it in its tea form isn’t a bad idea either!
Overall, helichrysum essential oil is quite the amazing natural remedy with a variety of skin benefits. It’s particularly good if you think your skin is a little irritated, or if you want to help your skin heal from an injury or just improve your overall skin health. Try out a natural salve containing helichrysum, or add a little helichrysum (when properly diluted, of course) to your daily skin care routine--you’ll thank us later!