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From smoothing wrinkles to firming jowls, some TCM herbs are believed to offer a range of beauty benefits. Does your skincare include these star ingredients?

1. Chinese Wolfberries

Chinese wolfberries protects skin against the sun while keeping collagen and elastin fibres in shape. Dr Brandt Skincare has goji berries (another name for Chinese wolfberries) in its products.

2. Gingko Biloba

This humble ingredient got a publicity boost when Clarins declared it the hero ingredient in its Daily Energiser range. Traditionally used to improve memory, gingko biloba is also used to retard skin ageing, thanks to its free radical-fighting ability.

3. Green Tea

This cancer fighter is packed with bioflavonoids and catechins. Established beauty brands such as Elizabeth Arden and Shu Uemura count on it to promote elasticity, improve tone and restore skin on cellular level.

4. Soya

Achieving tofu-smooth has never been easier, thanks to brands such as Fresh and Aveeno. Each bean is packed with proteins and isoflavones, which have been shown to smoothen wrinkles, firm jowls, and improve sun damage.

5. Cordyceps

Cordyceps has been used for centuries to boost libido and the immune system. Its antioxidant properties have been harnessed in Origins’ nourishing Dr Weil Plantidote Mega-Mushroom face line.

6. Ginseng

Ginseng is a unique root brightens the skin, prevents UV damage, enhances collagen synthesis, and diminishes signs of ageing. Today, this herb is present in everything from Elemis’ Rehydrating Ginseng Toner to John Masters Organics’ Orange and Ginseng Exfoliating Body Bar.


This article was adapted from “To Crave: Super Six” by AP Small in the Apr-Jun 2012 issue of NATURA, a magazine about the holistic path to good health.