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Mugwort: The Powerhouse Ingredient to Add to Your Skincare Routine

Let’s find out more about this “savior” for sensitive and acne prone skin

Written by: 100% PURE ®
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If you’re a fan of Korean skincare, chances are high that you’ve heard of mugwort at some point. But if not, this is the article for you!

Mugwort is a staple in a number of Korean skincare products–especially those designed for sensitive skin, acne and rosacea.

Mugwort has been a key fixture in Korean medicine as a healing herb, and it’s even been found to possess antibacterial and antifungal properties, which are excellent for protecting our skin.

To make it even more appealing for skincare, mugwort has promising evidence of supporting a number of different skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, acne and rosacea. Mugwort may even help fight breakouts!

Incorporating mugwort into your skincare will help you get more out of your routine, since you’re supporting your barrier. Read on to learn more about the history and uses behind mugwort, and the ways in which it can keep your skin happy and healthy.


All About Mugwort: History and Traditional Uses

Mugwort, also known as Artemisia princeps, has recently taken the limelight in the skincare industry, but its medicinal use is nothing new.

“Mugwort” refers to a family of flowering plants typically found in countries throughout the northern hemisphere. Known for its strong resilience and fast growing rate, it is, for all intents and purposes, a weed. However, you’ve never met a weed with more benefits.

Mugwort has been used for centuries in traditional forms of medicine, perhaps most notably in Korean practices. Korean traditional medicine is called “hanbang,” which literally means “traditional holistic medicine.” Hanbang places an emphasis on balance in the body and mind through medicinal herbs, which often include ginseng, green tea, centella asiatica, and of course, mugwort.

Known for its warming properties, Korean mugwort is often used in a process in hanbang known as moxibustion, which involves the burning of it over a pressure point to stimulate blood circulation. It’s also commonly found in soothing baths that relax and restore the muscles. In fact, it’s quite common to see mugwort in Korean bathhouses (also known as Jjimjilbangs.

Beyond Korean medicine, you’ll also find this mild, herbal-tasting plant in a number of different Korean dishes, like rice cakes, hot pots, and beverages.


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How Does Mugwort Work on Skin?

As mentioned above, mugwort has been used in human preparation for centuries. But only in recent years, has this leafy green gained tremendous popularity.

And it’s no surprise why! Mugwort has been making headway as the ultimate skin soother, and it’s been featured time and time again in products meant to target barrier repair.

With its high concentration of antioxidants like vitamin E, mugwort can help nurture, calm, and protect the skin barrier from damaging factors in our environment.

Let’s go more into detail on what mugwort can do for the skin barrier, and what causes damage in the first place.


How Mugwort Restores the Skin Barrier

The skin barrier is the outermost layer of your skin, and it functions as the first line of defense between your skin and the environment. Naturally, the skin barrier plays a major role in blocking out pollutants and pathogens, but sometimes, it becomes damaged.

Damage can occur with the skin barrier for a number of reasons, including age, stress, and inflammation. And when the skin barrier becomes damaged, it can be prone to acne, irritation, and rosacea.

There are a few ways you can combat skin barrier damage, but prevention is always key. To keep the skin barrier intact, keep your exfoliating to a limit, and make sure to always wear sunscreen during the day.

It also helps to stick with a gentle cleanser, as over-cleansing can disrupt the lipid barrier.

If you live in an urban area, pollution and poor air quality can be especially damaging to the skin barrier, but sleep and stress are especially common.

Getting proper sleep and managing stress levels are both key to keeping your skin barrier healthy, but you can also support it with mugwort!

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties, mugwort is the ideal skincare staple for barrier repair.

Here are some of the most popular uses of mugwort for the skin.


Woman_looking_at_her_skin
Mugwort’s Antioxidant Benefits

Like many plant-based ingredients, mugwort is packed with antioxidants, which combat the free radicals we encounter in our daily lives.

Free radicals are unstable molecules caused by the environment, UV rays, and pollution, and they damage our skin through oxidative stress. When oxidative stress occurs, they deal damage to our skin’s proteins, which can lead to a loss of elasticity and firmness, hyperpigmentation, and irritation. By fighting free radicals, Mugwort works to calm down and nourish the skin.


Mugwort’s Benefits for Acne

Acne is a type of inflammation of the skin that results in the clogging of pores. It’s something we all experience at some point in our lives, and it affects 40 to 50 million Americans annually.

There are several treatments that target acne including retinol, niacinamide, and salicylic acid. But when you’re looking for something that’s gentle, effective, and soothing on acne, mugwort makes a great option.

Mugwort is known for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which make it not only excellent for fighting acne, but also for healing and soothing the skin in the process.

Currently, there is no research documenting the topical effectiveness of mugwort on acne. However, there are promising studies surrounding its anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it may help target the inflammation that causes acne. Plus, its soothing properties make it an excellent option for calming down rosacea.


Mugwort’s Benefits for Eczema

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a condition that leads to inflamed, dry, and itchy skin. And while common in young children, it can affect any age group.

While eczema is a chronic condition with no cure, it can be managed with moisturizing, soothing skincare products; this is where mugwort might make a great option.

Some research has been performed on mugwort as a treatment for eczema, and it’s yielded promising results.

In one study, mugwort extract was shown to lower the swelling and inflammation associated with eczema, and it may even present an alternative to corticosteroids.

Meanwhile, another study found that mugwort’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects can help reduce dry skin symptoms associated with eczema.

When choosing a product containing mugwort for eczema, stick with unscented creams and ointments that feature it as the main ingredient.

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.


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