Wellness Hub August 2016 The beauty powers of Echinacea Swisse August 20, 2016 Share Along with chicken soup and vitamin-C rich foods, echinacea is said to be the third amigo for boosting immunity and nipping winter colds and flu in the bud. But the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits of this herb actually go back hundreds of years, when it did much more than help dry up a snotty nose. Archaeologists believe that Native Americans may have used it for more than 400 years to treat infections and wounds, and as an all-round general cure-all. Throughout history echinacea was used to help treat illnesses like scarlet fever, syphilis, malaria, blood poisoning, and diphtheria and modern herbalists use it to treat everything from hayfever to ear infections. The wonder plant (which is really pretty and comes from the daisy family) contains several active substances that make it an essential part of mother nature’s medicine cabinet. Flower power It makes sense then, that echinacea can also be beneficial when applied topically to your skin, and it’s been cropping up in a number of beauty products. “Sometimes when developing a skin care product, we get caught up trying the new trending ingredients and forget to consider the time tested proven ingredients because they aren’t as “glamorous,” says Swisse skincare specialist Selina Mithen who rates the healing powers of echinacea for your skin. Echinacea is a soothing friend to blemish prone skin, as the herb’s antimicrobial effect can combat bacteria. “It also has having anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce skin redness and irritation,” says Mithen. So if your skin is still acting like a teenager and breaking out, try a moisturiser that contains echinacea to help. Echinacea has a clearing and calming effect on the skin so you can add it to home made beauty masks if you need a pick-me-up during hormonal breakouts and choose moisturisers such as Swisse Echinacea Clear Skin Moisturiser that combines echinacea extract with tea tree and cornflower, which over time can reduce skin oiliness and sebum levels controlling future breakouts.