If you’re into the K-beauty world’s super ingredients like we are, you might have wondered: Is mugwort good for your skin? Following the groundbreaking essence formula from the brand “I’m From”, it has become one of the trendiest ingredients of Korean skincare. Currently, the hype surrounding this ingredient, particularly in Korean skincare items and food, seems to be never-ending. But it can be difficult to decide whether mugwort is good for you.
What is Mugwort?
Mugwort (artemisia vulgaris) is a perennial plant native to Northern Europe and Asia that has now spread to North America. The plant blooms in the summer and produces yellow or dark orange flowers. In the past, people have used its leaves not only for external reasons but also for brewing tea. The delicate bitter taste of the mugwort leaves is famous in Asia, because the plant has been used extensively in traditional medicine.
Mugwort has long been well-known for its benefits. In fact, both Western and Eastern traditional medicine used it. Ancient Romans used to plant it by the roadside so that soldiers could put the leaves in their shoes to relieve their aching feet.
Chinese medicine still uses the plant in various concoctions and treatments. One treatment, moxibustion, is a traditional Chinese practice that consists of rolling the leaves onto sticks or cones. The traditional medicine practitioner places these cones directly on the skin. As the leaves burn, the skin gently heats. Additionally, practitioners used mugwort to activate acupuncture points in order to make acupuncture treatments more effective.
Why do we consider it a super ingredient?
The reason we call Mugwort a “super ingredient” is that it can be used for a large range of restorative cures, both internally and externally. People use the leaves and flowers to make a variety of essential oils and medicinal tinctures. The most well-known compounds and extracts found in skincare products are amphora, pinene, and cineole.
Mugwort can be found in powdered face washes that exfoliate and cleanse the skin. It can also be found as a restorative face mask or in your cleanser. It’s a versatile ingredient with a number of benefits for skin care. Here are 5 that you may not know!
1 – Mugwort is full of Vitamin E
Mugwort is chockfull of vitamin E. When applied, vitamin E not only assists in hydrating dry skin but actually helps it retain the moisture far after application. Ingested, vitamin E can also help reduce skin inflammation.
In addition, mugwort isn’t only an ingredient for skincare products: It’s often an ingredient in Korean cuisine as a spice or to flavor sweets. Drinking it in moderation can also be a source of vitamin E.
2 – Mugwort is an antioxidant
Several studies have shown that mugwort, which functions as an antioxidant, benefits your skin by preventing damage caused by ultraviolet rays. Dr. Rhonda Klein, a board-certified dermatologist, told Dermstore: “Antioxidants protect the skin by limiting free radical production, which can damage the skin. With daily use, they can reduce lentigines (sun spots), help combat visible signs of aging and calm skin inflammations”. Therefore regular use of the plant is an excellent preventative measure to help protect the health of your skin from dangerous sun rays.
3 – Mugwort is your anti-aging ally
Not only have studies proved mugwort’s antioxidant properties, but those same studies have also proven that it stimulates collagen in the skin. Collagen is a protein in the body that keeps skin firm. The production of collagen in the skin reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Not only does it reduce existing wrinkles, but it also helps prevent them!
4 – Mugwort relieves sensitive skin
Because mugwort is an anti-inflammatory, it can often be an essential ingredient in sensitive skin creams. It also successfully soothes minor skin irritation and reduces redness from skin flare-ups. According to dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, “it’s even a suitable treatment for skin conditions such as eczema (or atopic dermatitis) and psoriasis”. For those with sensitive skin, take a look at the wonders of cica cream.
5 – Mugwort reduces acne
Mugwort can be found in many products targeted toward acne-prone skin. It has antibacterial properties that allows it to clear bacteria in the pores; it also neutralizes excess oily skin. For that reason, people who suffer from fungal acne should use mugwort-based products in their routine.
So, is mugwort good for your skin? Yes!
The plant might become your new favorite skincare ingredient, but don’t forget to check out Korean cuisine that features the plant. Whether as a steamed side dish or a soup topper, the plant has always been a part of Korean cuisine. Nowadays, trendy cafes and restaurants in South Korea are going a step further and creating a range of mugwort desserts like mugwort-spiced cheesecake or layer cake. Whether eaten or used in your skincare, it’s clear that mugwort has become a super ingredient that is not only good for your skin.