This Plant-Based Ingredient Can Balance Irritated Skin

First you take the mallow...

Caitlin M.
ByCaitlin M.

By now, most skincare fanatics know that miracle, fix-it-all ingredients don't really exist. In fact, science shows that a beauty routine that incorporates several high-powered ingredients is the best way to combat signs of aging, skin damage, and all those other fun things we deal with on a daily basis. But, how do you know which ingredients are worth the hype? We're making it easy! In this series, we'll give you the must-know info on both trending and mainstay ingredients. This week’s ingredient is something that we normally think of in terms of food and sometimes as the yummy scent of beauty products, but it’s the actual plant that we’re focusing on today.

The Ingredient: marshmallow

Also known as: marshmallow root, Althea officinalis, marshmallow extract, marsh mallow

Quick take: Don’t think of marshmallow strictly in terms of sweet-scented bath products, it’s so much more than that. Marshmallow is a versatile ingredient in beauty products.

Dr. Karyn Grossman, celebrity dermatologist and creator of the KARYNG Skincare line, explains, “Marshmallow root has both anti-inflammatory properties and emollient properties. So, it can help to decrease inflammation in the skin as well as to help to hydrate it.”

Claims to fame:  Sugary marshmallows that come in a bag may be what most of us think when we think of marshmallows, but it’s the marshmallow plant (Althea officinalis) which grows in Northern Africa and Western Asia that has the skin benefits. The roots of the plant have a thick substance that’s used in beauty products to help balance skin.

Dr. George Sun elaborates, “Althea Officinalis roots contain the following:  pectin, starch, mucilage, flavanoids, and other antioxidants. As such, marshmallow root can form a protective layer on the skin. Benefits thus include hydration, soothing, inflammation reduction, and even wound healing. Many moisturizers or post-laser products may contain this helpful ingredient.”  

Where to find it:

L’Occitane Hand Creams ($12)

L'Occitane hand creams

This sleek tube is packed full of nourishing ingredients including marshmallow root, shea butter, coconut oil, and honey. You only need a bit to nourish your dry, scaly hands.

Lush Prince Charming Shower Cream ($9.95)

Lush Prince Charming

This rich shower cream combines marshmallow root, pomegranate juice, and vanilla for one delicious-smelling sudser. The bright pink color is as cheerful as the scent.

Jurlique Activating Water Essence ($55) 

Jurlique Activating Water Essence

Marshmallow root doesn’t just appear in solid products. It’s the star of the show in this water-based essence. The concentrated formula helps to boost skin’s vitality, soften it, and enhance the performance of your other skincare products. Not too shabby, eh?

Have you tried products with marshmallow? Review your favorite!

About the Author
Caitlin M.
Caitlin M.
Runner. Music lover. All things nachos. Follow me on Instagram: @caitlinsmiller