What comes to mind when you think of Sage? If an image of leaves tightly bound together and burning in a smudging ritual to cleanse negative energy and ward off evil spirits enters your mind, you’re not alone. Indigenous Americans have incorporated smudging as a part of their spiritual and cleansing practices for thousands of years, and is a ritual that has recently translated into western culture as well. However, the uses and benefits of sage certainly do not end there.
What Exactly is Sage?
Sage, a member of the mint family, is an herb with medicinal, ceremonial, culinary and – you guessed it – skincare uses. Sage leaves are oval-shaped and fuzzy with a distinct earthy, menthol smell. They can be grayish-green, white-green, or even purple, depending on the variety. Medicinally, sage has been used since ancient Egyptian times to increase fertility, aid digestion, and fight depression, and in Chinese medicine to treat dementia and to heighten mental alertness. Ceremonially, various cultures have practices that involve burning sage during spiritual ceremonies to cleanse and clear the mind, ward off evil, and promote relaxation. The more amazing news? Research has found that burning sage can physically remove bacteria from the air, giving credence to those who have experienced benefits from smudging for centuries! And for the skin? Read on to find out.
Sage Benefits for Skin
Sage is rich in nutrients including Vitamins A and K, beta-carotene, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and calcium – just to name a few. These nutrients contribute to sage’s anti-aging, astringent, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic AND antibacterial properties, but who’s counting? The takeaway is that Sage is an excellent natural skincare ingredient for fresh, clean skin.
Antioxidants for Younger Looking Skin
The antioxidants found in sage work together to combat the effects of free radicals on the skin. These environmental factors damage our cells and tissues resulting in accelerated skin aging and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – something none of us want more of! To fight the oxidative stress put on our skin by free radicals, the antioxidants in sage protect our skin by giving off an electron to effectively neutralize the free radical molecules that have landed on our skin. In addition, these antioxidants help in skin regeneration and turnover at the cellular level and can even begin to reverse the signs of aging. Both calcium and Vitamin A are to thank for the regenerative properties found in sage.
Natural Astringent power of Sage
If you have oily or combination skin, the natural astringent properties in sage can help act as a toner to shrink the appearance of large pores, soothe skin and regulate the overproduction of sebum, your skin’s natural oil. This management of oil and sebum production can significantly reduce blackheads, balance your skin’s pH levels and ease inflammation, providing a soft, matte skin finish perfect for applying makeup.
Sage for Acne and other Skin Conditions
Acne-prone skin will get a welcome relief from the astringent properties of sage, coupled with its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory powers. Reduced redness, decreased soreness and less irritation from breakouts are just some of the benefits of using a product with sage. Other skin conditions can be improved with the regular use of sage as well, like eczema, psoriasis, chapped or dry skin, and even fungal infections that appear on the face. Sage can soothe the discomfort that arises from these skin annoyances as well as relieve symptoms.
Adding Sage to your Beauty Regimen
You will often find sage as an ingredient added to natural facial cleansers, toners, and even deodorants. Of course, beloved sage is the star ingredient of our Butter and Lye Anti-Aging Sage Face and Body Soap. Use this soap all over your face and body to turn back the hands of time, protecting your delicate skin from the free radicals it encounters on a daily basis and enabling a youthful and clear visage for years to come.