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A Trip Down the Pharmacy Aisle, Oh, I meant Garden!

How was your Labor Day Holiday Skin Ravers?! I hope you had a great weekend! I wanted to share with you what I did on Labor Day Monday.

Since my newfound interest in healthier living has led me to looking more at ingredient labels, I’ve come to luv learning more about raw materials and where they come from.

This week, I had the chance to visit the New York Botanical Garden’s Wild Medicine Exhibit in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. The exhibit showcases plants from around the world detailing how cultures have used them for their healing abilities the past hundreds of years.

Have you ever really looked at your skin care products? (I know I ask this a lot!) If you glance within your drugstore’s skin care section, you can easily see a gazillion products made by incorporating plant based ingredients.

Let’s take a walk down the drugstore aisle:

Castile soap made with vegetable based oils, a facial toner with witch hazel extract, lotion with aloe vera leaf juice, an acne treatment using willow bark and orange peel oils. Or how about a body wash with Rosemary and Mint; the amount of products incorporating plant ingredients are endless. 

The Wild Medicine Exhibit is fabulous. It is mentally as well as visually stimulating. Although many of the plants showcased are related to prescription based medicines, many of the other plants on view are sourced for use in cosmetic products.

For example, the American Oil Palm Tree is sourced for its kernel oil for use in soaps, giving it better lather and skin softening benefits.

The Coconut Tree is sourced for its Virgin Coconut Oil which we all love to use in skin care as well as hair care products. Who doesn’t love Coconut Oil?! Manufacturers love the use of this oil for its skin benefits as well as for its long shelf life.

Papain, another ingredient derived from papayas, is used in cosmetic products for its keratolytic properties.

We all have heard about the Acai berry and its powerhouse of antioxidants. People are not only consuming it in hopes of battling free radicals in the body, manufacturers are placing the berry oils and extracts in beauty and personal care products as well. Eminence Organics, Kiehl’s and 100% Pure are just a few companies which use Acai berry in their product line.

Have you heard of the Gumbo Limbo Tree? It’s native to the forests of Central America and the Caribbean. Its reddish papery bark strips can be boiled in water and applied to the skin as an effective treatment for blisters, insect bites, sunburn and other skin irritations. (isn’t this so cool?!)

These are just a few of the interesting plants on display at the New York Botanical Garden’s Wild Medicine Exhibit. If you have an interest in botanicals in medicine and cosmetics, you will want to check out this great exhibit. It ends this weekend, so stop by soon!

till next time,


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