My Favorite 8 Skin Healing Ingredients
My research and self-experimentation have helped me confidently and carefully select the most potent renewing elements in nature, which I used to support the health and recovery of my skin.
Here is a short list of my top ingredient picks:
1. Bentonite Clay
According to research and experience, bentonite really does it all! It provides deep cleansing, increases blood-flow to the surface of the skin and has powerful detoxification properties. Often used in spa treatments and masks, it is even known to improve collagen fiber count, resulting in fewer wrinkles and fine lines.
Also, due to its rich mineral content, bentonite clay exfoliates, softens and conditions the skin. Bentonite was especially effective in treating radiation after my CT scans and x-rays following my accident. During that time, I would do a whole-head mask after each treatment to assist in extracting toxins and heavy metals and mitigating the effects radiation. (1, 2)
2. Grass-fed Bovine Colostrum
Topically or internally, bovine colostrum is one of my favorite ingredients. According to my personal results and some compelling research, the regenerative properties of IGF-1 (present in colostrum) have powerfully accelerated the regrowth of my skin cells.
After years of regular use, I notice a more rapid healing time from my abrasions and scar areas. Looking at the science, IGF-1 is literally a growth substance, stimulating the regeneration of cells. IGF-1 levels are higher during adolescence, peak during puberty, then decline as we age, suggesting a strong correlation between IGF-1 and aging in general.
Considering the physiological actions of IGF-1, including the reduction of oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory responses, it’s likely that IGF-1 can positively impact the overall aging processes — skin degeneration included. With oxidative stress and inflammation being two pretty well-known causes of skin aging, inhibiting these factors should slow that process, and I’ve found that to be true in my personal experience. (3, 4)
3. Ground Freshwater Pearl Powder
Pearl powder was used traditionally as an astringent tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine due to its skin renewing and healing properties. I began to experiment with it and found pearl powder to be very beneficial in smoothing areas where I had experienced scarring and abrasions.
With regular use, I saw my skin tone even out and its texture became baby-smooth. In my opinion, it’s the most visibly beneficial ingredient that I use in my clay mask. There has not been much recent clinical research on pearl; however, there is one study that points to the antioxidant and anti-aging effects of pearl on the cells. Research suggests that pearl can enhance the cell adhesion and tissue regeneration of skin fibroblasts. (5)
4. Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is a type of raw honey that contains a special compound known as K Factor16 and is well-known for its antibacterial effects. These effects are due to the hydrogen peroxide, glucose oxidase, catalase, oligosaccharides and phytochemicals found in manuka. All of these give this honey the ability to fight skin infections, promote wound healing, and reduce inflammation and scarring.
Manuka also contains many powerful antioxidant flavonoids, including asapigenin, pinocembrin, kaempferol, quercetin, galangin, chrysin and hesperetinas, as well as phenolic acids, including asellagic, caffeic, p-coumaric and ferulic acids, ascorbic acid, tocopherols, catalase, superoxide dismutase and reduced glutathione. As a potent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substance, I find manuka honey to be an all-in-one, naturally healing substance for the skin. (6)
5. Plant-Derived Hyaluronic Acid
The aging of human skin is a complex biological process that is not yet entirely understood. What we do know is that there is a correlation between hyaluronic acid and the overall process. HA is a non-sulphated group of repeating polymeric disaccharides. It plays a key role in skin hydration, providing the framework through which cells migrate.
In simpler words, hyaluronic acid is essential for healthy, hydrated skin cells — and as we know, skin aging is associated with the loss of hydration. I have personally found that when topically applied, hyaluronic acid gives my skin a more supple, hydrated appearance. (7)
6. Edelweiss Flower Plant-Derived Stem Cells
Stem cells derived from the Edelweiss flower show a protective effect and strong anti-collagenase and hyaluronidase activity, which make it a premium anti-aging ingredient. Edelweiss has high concentrations of leontopodic acids A and B, which have strong antioxidant properties, protecting the skin from the aging effects of oxidative stress. (8)
7. Organic Helichrysum Hydrosol
Helichrysum is a potent antioxidant botanical extract with anti-inflammatory abilities. In research, extracts of helichrysum were found to inhibit enzymatic and non-enzymatic lipid peroxidation, and it also has free radical scavenging properties. In other words, it can inhibit inflammation and prevent oxidative damage from free radicals, which is why I use it as the base of my night cream. (9)
8. Pracaxi Oil
One of the greatest obstacles I faced after my accident was scarring. But when injury is severe (as in the case of my accident), healing can be imperfect and scarring can occur.
However, I had faith in the powerful regenerative ability of my body, and with the help of pracaxi oil, my scarring is almost unnoticeable. Best of all, I’m not the only one to experience this: In a group study of seven patients, all seven cases reported improvement in scarring — including scar and wound size, severity, color and pain — from the use of pracaxi