The benefits of St John's wort oil for the face
St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and is proven to be effective in treating mild depression. But this plant also has dermatological benefits, and can help to give your skin a healthy glow!
The healing properties of St John's wort
For a long time, apothecaries recommended applying oily extracts of St John's wort on the skin to speed up the healing of wounds, burns, sunburn, and bruises. And while you might dismiss these ideas as old wives' tales or beliefs from the past, there's actually a lot of sense in them! In fact, recent scientific studies in the field of pharmacology have confirmed the effectiveness of St John's wort in promoting skin healing, but also in helping to treat atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and herpes simplex infections. One of the main reasons for this is that St John's wort oil contains hyperforin – a chemical substance that stimulates the growth and differentiation of keratinocyte cells, which are found in the upper layer of the skin. The main function of keratinocytes is to produce keratin – the fibrous protein that makes the skin waterproof and protects it against environmental aggressors.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of St John's wort
The benefits of St John's wort oil go far beyond its healing powers. Hyperforin, which we mentioned earlier, can do more than stimulate keratinocytes; it also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Other components of St John's wort oil, such as hypericin, have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits for the skin. This explains why St John's wort oil is used in many beauty products. Thanks to the active ingredients it contains, this botanical oil is able to soften and soothe sensitive or fragile, weakened skin, making it particularly suitable for skin that's mature or prone to blemishes. Gentle and non-irritating, it has powerful regenerating properties for the face.
Precautions when using St John's wort oil
Some of the constituents of St John's wort oil are photosensitizing, so if it's applied pure to the skin before sun exposure, it could cause serious skin reactions. This oil can also be dangerous to use on the skin when breastfeeding, as the nursing infant could ingest oil on the surface of the breasts. If you are breastfeeding, it's advisable to avoid applying St John's wort oil on the body during this period.
Scientific studies have established that the composition and stability of St John's wort oil can vary greatly according to the origin of the raw material, the production and storage conditions, and the method used to extract the oil. So it's always a good idea to check the origin of your St John's wort oil, as well as the manufacturing process, and to use one that's certified organic if possible.