Have you ever heard of using the hibiscus plant for health and beauty? Let me tell you, this beautifully flowering shrub boasts a myriad of benefits for a variety of issues.
In this post, I go over the main ways this miracle plant can be used for vibrant health and discuss hibiscus benefits for skin health and appearance.
- Hibiscus Tea for Health
- Hibiscus Benefits for Skin
- Hibiscus is Also Great for Hair
- How to Get the Benefits of Hibiscus for Skin in DIY Products?
- 5 Easy Hibiscus DIYs for Skin and Hair
Hibiscus Tea for Health
Drinking hibiscus tea benefits range from alleviating high blood pressure and cholesterol, alleviating menopausal problems, and even helping to lose weight.
A meta-analysis of studies published in 2015, found that drinking hibiscus tea significantly lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.Medical News Today
What makes hibiscus such a great ally on the path to a healthy lifestyle?
It is a powerhouse when it comes to vitamin C and antioxidants that play a major role in health maintenance. Especially the polyphenol called Anthocyanin that gives hibiscus its rich red color boasts some amazing health-bringing properties.
Anthocyanins possess antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-obesity effects, as well as prevention of cardiovascular diseases.NIH Study
The antioxidants present in the hibiscus plant have the ability to help in the following areas:
- Fighting free radicals and preventing the damage caused by them
- Tissue repair and growth
- Collagen production
- Absorption of iron
- Healing of wounds
- The health of bones and cartilage
- Weight control and prevention of obesity
- Potential anti-cancer properties (especially for cancer of the mouth)
Considering all these potential health benefits, I make hibiscus tea a daily addition to my routine. Especially in the summer, I like to make a big jug of it and use it as iced tea throughout the day.
Due to its high Vitamin C content, the tea tastes pretty sour and a bit tart. I like to sweeten it with stevia but honey would be a great addition too.
You can find hibiscus tea in already prepared bags or you can get it in bulk. This is my preferred method.
I get it from Mountain Rose Herbs or Starwest Botanicals which are two companies I trust for all my herbal needs, from bulk teas and herbs to essential oils and ingredients for handmade skincare products.
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A word of caution for pregnant and breastfeeding women
Because of the phytoestrogens in hibiscus tea, it might be better to avoid it during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Ask your doctor about alternatives.
Hibiscus Benefits for Skin
The benefits of hibiscus for skin are amazing as well and make this plant a great botanical additive to any type of skincare product aiming to help with aging, dullness, or hyperpigmentation.
Specifically, hibiscus boasts high levels of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, such as flavonoids, in addition to having great anti-bacterial properties.
Flavonoids found in the hibiscus plant may be responsible for the flowers’ demonstrated ability to heal sores and wounds.
In addition to promoting the overall health and appearance of the skin, hibiscus is also known to increase the circulation of the skin, which can lead to enhanced appearance and elasticity of the skin.
One particular polyphenol – anthocyanin which is the red pigment in hibiscus – acts as an antioxidant and fights free radicals when taken internally. This polyphenol offers amazing benefits to the skin when used topically as well thanks to its anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.
Hibiscus as the “Botox Plant”
Botox, a neurotoxin, relaxes facial muscles by blocking signals from the nerves. It can be a powerful solution for combatting wrinkles but it is not the most natural one and there are some risks and side effects associated with it.
Hibiscus can also combat aging but in a much less invasive way than Botox, albeit with similar effects.
The powerful plant can inhibit the activity of elastase, which is the enzyme that breaks down the elastin – the connective tissue that keeps the skin attached to the muscles on the face. When elastin degrades, which happens naturally with age, the firmness of the skin starts degrading as well.
Hibiscus can help us keep our skin looking firmer and younger by preserving and protecting the elastin.
Hibiscus has great anti-aging benefits because it maintains elastin in the skin by decreasing the activity of elastase, an enzyme that breaks down our skin’s natural elastin.Dr. Icecreamwala, Icecreamwala Dermatology
If Botox is not for you or you’d rather go the more natural way then try incorporating hibiscus into your diet and skincare.
It might take a little longer to show visible results, but it surely is a safer way to help the skin stay firmer and younger-looking.
Hibiscus as a Gentle Exfoliator
This plant is so amazing for skin for more reasons than one. Containing high amounts of alpha-hydroxy-acids, hibiscus can replace harsher acids in your skincare routine.
AHAs are prized for gentle exfoliation, treatment of acne, lessening of post-acne scarring, helping with hyperpigmentation, and general brightening of the skin tone.
Hibiscus as a Natural Vitamin C serum
As already mentioned, Vitamin C promotes anti-aging and antioxidant activity in the skin. Not only is it helpful to ward off the effects of free radicals on the skin – age spots, wrinkles, sun damage.
Moreover, Vitamin C is required for collagen production and collagen (alongside elastin) is fundamental in keeping the skin youthful bouncy, firm, and smooth.
Hibiscus is Also Great for Hair
Many of the active ingredients in the hibiscus plant that make it a great botanical to use in skincare are also perfectly suited for hair care. AHAs are a potent exfoliator that can help balance the pH of the scalp.
Additionally, the amino acids in the hibiscus plant can also help add strength and elasticity to the hair.
No wonder Hibiscus has been used for millennia by Ayurvedic practitioners in both skin- and hair care.
How to Get the Benefits of Hibiscus for Skin in DIY Products?
There are many great products to buy with hibiscus as one of their ingredients. But, if, like me, you are a DIY type, you can easily add hibiscus to your handmade products.
My preferred form of hibiscus to use is dried flower powder for masks and hair packs and hibiscus extract for skin sera and lotions.
What is a hibiscus extract?
Hibiscus Extract can be either water or oil soluble. Depending on what you want to use it for you’d go for a water or oil-soluble version.
For example, I add oil-soluble hibiscus extract to my Vitamin C Serum which is a face oil combining multiple forms of naturally derived vitamin C, including hibiscus.
For a toner, which is a water-based product, I use water-soluble hibiscus extract. It disperses in the distilled water or rose hydrosol easily.
Both forms of hibiscus extract can be found in cosmetic ingredients stores online.
5 Easy Hibiscus DIYs for Skin and Hair
Hibiscus and Sugar Face (and/or Body) Scrub
Super easy and super effective in exfoliating and rejuvenating the skin.
- 1 cup of white, small granules sugar
- 2 TBS hibiscus powder
- 2 TBS Jojoba Oil (for the face) or Fractionated Coconut Oil (for the body)
Mix all the ingredients in a jar and use to scrub whenever needed. I like to follow up with the hibiscus toner on the face.
When used as a body scrub, use it after soaping, so that once you rinse the scrub off, you’ll still have the oil residue to lock in the moisture.
Hibiscus and Honey Face Mask
This easy mask brightens and exfoliates the skin. Both, the hibiscus and honey, work in tandem to remove dead skin cells and brighten, moisturize and firm up the skin. And, all it takes are three ingredients.
Mix to make a paste. Apply to face. Relax for 10-15 minutes. Wash off.
Another alternative with the addition of lactic acid would be to substitute Aloe Vera with plain Greek yogurt or milk.
Hibiscus And Rose Powder Clay Mask
For even more cleansing and rejuvenating power, try mixing up some clay(s) with hibiscus and rose powders. Then mix in enough liquid to make a paste (hydrosol, water, or milk), apply to the face, and relax.
- 2 tsp White Cosmetic Clay (or other clay such as Rhassoul or Bentonite)
- 1 tsp Hibiscus Powder
- ½ tsp Rose Powder
- ½ tsp Aloe Vera Powder
I started making this mask for family and friends and it was such a hit that now I am offering it in my shop as well. If it’s too much hassle getting all the ingredients, check it out here, all ready to mix with your liquid of choice. (Scroll down for a 20% off coupon for my shop:)
Hibiscus Face Toner
Using a toner is a great way to take off the last make-up residues and to prepare the skin for other high-potency products that follow like sera and lotions.
Making a DIY toner is a breeze, and it is fully customizable. Here is one recipe for around 200 ml (I cup) of toner you can try.
- ½ cup hibiscus tea (made with one bag of hibiscus tea or by steeping one or two dry hibiscus flowers)
- ¼ cup Witch Hazel
- ¼ cup Rose Hydrosol
- 1 TBS Aloe Vera
- 10-15 drops Essential Oils (Lavender or Frankincense for anti-aging, Cypress or Juniper Berry for toning, Tea Tree for combatting acne)
Mix all of the ingredients together in a jar or bottle (a spritzer bottle is probably best). Since there is no preservative in the toner, it’s best to keep it in the fridge and use it within three to four weeks.
Just spritz some on your face after washing and enjoy! It’s so refreshing and with time it will make your skin glow.
Hibiscus Hair Growth Pack
When I was going through hair thinning due to chemo, I was using this hair pack at every wash. Now, since my hair is much thicker and breaking less, I use it only 2-3 times per month.
- 1 TBS Hibiscus Powder
- 1 TBS Fenugreek Powder
- 1 TBS Castor Oil
- 1 TBS Argan Oil
- 5-10 drops of Rosemary essential oil
Mix all the ingredients together. Apply with your fingertips to the scalp, massaging it in. Wrap a shower cap over the hair and a warm towel if you wish. Let it sit for at least one hour. Wash the hair as you would normally afterward.
The scalp is exfoliated and Ph-balanced, the hair is shiny and more manageable right after each use, and it becomes stronger and fuller with time.
RELATED POST: Hair Loss and Growth During and After Chemo
There you have it! Five super easy DIY recipes with Hibiscus that our skin and hair are guaranteed to love. Mix yourself one of them and enjoy. And do not forget to sip on some hibiscus tea while relaxing with your mask on.
Here is to health!
Before you go, here is a link to an E-book with other easy DIY recipes to pamper yourself with.