Arnica Flower Ingredient in Skincare

Arnica Flower Ingredient in Skincare
Arnica is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and the flower is now making its way into skincare products.  The arnica plant is a perennial herb in the sunflower family that has been used for centuries to treat inflammation and pain.  As a homeopathic remedy, arnica — particularly the species Arnica montana — can be found in topical gels, creams and oils, as well as in oral supplements and tinctures.
WHY ARNICA IS A SKINCARE ALL-STAR
Arnica’s anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial and antiseptic properties make it well suited for use in all sorts of spa services, from sports massage to facials. Arnica has many benefits that help soothe and reduce inflammation as well as acne. Its ability to boost immunity is believed to help decrease healing time in bruises, aches and pains, and it can even be tried in cases where a bruise never fully healed.  It can also be used for rashes, scars and stretch marks, and some even use it to reduce the appearance of dark circles.

1. It can help relieve pain. 

One of the most popular ways to use arnica is to apply a topical arnica gel or balm on sore muscles and sprains. The plant's power to heal muscle aches comes from its strong anti-inflammatory benefits which, in turn, can reduce swelling and provide pain relief by improving blood circulation. 

2. It can speed up wound healing.

In addition to providing pain relief, arnica also has the potential to stimulate the flow of white blood cells and improve blood flow in the joints, muscles, and bruised tissue. For this reason, it's sometimes recommended that postoperative patients use it to heal faster after surgery. That being said, arnica should not ever be used on open wounds without direct instruction from your doctor. 

3. It can soothe insect bites. 

Applying an arnica cream or arnica gel to a bite can help calm inflammation in the affected area and can help clear out the extra histamine by increased circulation, reducing the desire to scratch and therefore speeding up healing time overall.

4. It can help treat dandruff.

In addition to being a natural anti-inflammatory, arnica also has antibacterial properties. These two benefits can team up to create a strong defense against scalp irritation and malassezia, a fungus that often triggers dandruff. To use it to promote scalp health, try adding a few drops of arnica oil to your shampoo or look for a shampoo that lists arnica as an active ingredient. You can also create a hair mask by combining arnica oil with a hydrating oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil. 

5. It can aid in decreasing puffiness

In recent years, arnica's anti-inflammatory powers have been used for more cosmetic purposes like decreasing puffiness around the face. You'll often find it as an active ingredient in eye creams and in face masks.

Side Effects?

It's incredibly important to know that the pure arnica plant is poisonous. You should never ingest the pure plant. Doing so could cause rapid heartbeat, gastrointestinal problems, kidney and liver damage, or even death in some cases. Homeopathic supplements are generally considered safe to consume because they use extremely diluted doses in each tablet or pill. However, in the medical field, opinions are mixed on the efficiency and safety of consuming arnica internally in any way. Sticking to applying it topically will be the safest. 

When using it topically, avoid applying it to broken skin unless you have discussed this with your doctor. Arnica is also an ingredient that is best used for a short period of time (i.e. while a bruise is healing or on occasion when you're suffering from a dandruff flareup). Using arnica over a long period of time may cause skin irritation and can inflame eczema and other skin conditions. 

Because there is still much to learn about arnica, it is not recommended that children, pregnant women, or women who are breastfeeding use arnica either topically or as a supplement. It is also not recommended that people who are allergic to sunflowers, marigolds, ragweed, or other members of the Asteraceae family use arnica. 

It is generally safe for all skin types.

_____________________________