Green means glow.

By Jolene Hart
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Herbal Beauty Products You Can Buy Online

Herbs Are for More Than Eating

You probably already reach for herbs like fresh parsley, thyme, and mint to add flavor and color to springtime meals. But those tender leaves can serve as much more than pretty garnishes. Herbs have long been used for their medicinal and nutritional properties.

As it happens, many culinary herbs are loaded with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant phytochemicals that slow the body’s aging process. They also contain nutrients known to boost beauty. For example, parsley is high in collagen-supporting vitamin C and iron. And more collagen generally makes for stronger nails and shinier, more resilient hair.

Not simply solo players, herbs often work synergistically with nutrients in your food. Nutrients in thyme, for example, may enhance the health effects of omega-3 fatty acids, which include strengthening skin-cell membranes for better moisture retention. 

Some herbs have immune-amplifying qualities, too. Basil, thyme, and peppermint, for example, have antiseptic and antiviral properties that may help ward off springtime colds and keep you feeling healthy and looking radiant. Thanks to their stimulating aromas and skin-supporting properties, herbs increasingly are cropping up in skin- and body-care products. Basil, mint, and parsley oils tone the skin, while mint in particular cools inflammation and soothes bites and stings. Thyme, basil, and parsley can be effective at clearing up blemishes. Thyme and rosemary also have been shown to stimulate circulation, which encourages skin and scalp health.

So this spring, don’t just nudge those fresh herb garnishes to the side of your plate. Eat them, for beauty’s sake! Try parsley, mint, or basil in green smoothies, toss fresh herbs into springtime salads, and look for them in the beauty aisle, too.

Herbs You Can Find in the Beauty Aisle

1. Herbal Essences Rosemary & Herbs Conditioner $15.97 at Target, Walmart, and amazon.com

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2. Super Hair, Super Food Feed your hair with Hair Food Coconut Milk & Chai Spice Shampoo. Products infused with nutrient-rich coconut keep hair soft and smooth with a healthy shine. walmart.com/hairfood

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3. Kiehl’s Herbal-Infused Micellar Cleansing Water (with thyme) $13 for 2.5 oz. at Nordstrom.com

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4. OGX Intensely Invigorating Eucalyptus Mint Shampoo $13.41 at amazon.com

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5. Burt’s Bees Herbal Complexion Stick (with parsley extract) $13.98 (for a pack of 2) at amazon.com

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6. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Basil Body Wash $5.56 at amazon.com

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Jolene Hart is a certified health coach, former beauty editor, and author of the Eat Pretty books. You can find more of her insights on nourishing beauty from the inside out at jolenehart.com.

This article originally appeared in the April/May 2020 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.

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