One of the greatest things about being a vegan and cruelty free skincare purveyor is knowing that you never have to worry about encountering questionable, high creep-factor ingredients… even when they have names like horsetail extract! But what is this oddly-denominated substance, what is it good for, and how do you get your hooves… er, hands on some? Read on for all the deets!
IN A NUTSHELL
Ingredient Category: Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory
Main Benefit: Horsetail extract provides powerful protection against hazardous environmental stressors and any associated signs of aging. It also helps to soothe and calm your complexion.
What is Horsetail?
Horsetail, also sometimes listed as equisetum arvense and affectionately termed mare’s tail, shave grass, bottlebrush, and scouring rush is a perennial herb (i.e., an herb that grows back each year) that, though it may not carry household recognition, has existed for, like, ever …hundreds of millions of years, in fact! It prospers best in the damp and granular landscapes and is most often found in moderate climates - specifically those in parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. It has a unique shape shifting appearance, first emerging in the springtime with an asparagus-like stalk that ultimately withers and wilts, making way for the lush, wispy, fern-like leaves that are said to resemble the strands of a horse’s tail.
Horsetail has a variety of applications. Being an ancient herb, it is no surprise that indigenous peoples and traditional forms of medicine made good use of the plant. Practitioners, from as early as the 17th century, have recorded using it in a multitude of ways and for the treatment of various ailments. Things like ulcers, poor circulation, constipation, fluid retention, inflammatory diseases, bone loss (otherwise known as osteoporosis), and more were understood to be no match for its potent powers. Contemporary users also continue to employ it for a range of reasons from the revivification of lazy hair follicles to the dissolution of bladder stones. Some utilitarian communities have even been known to use it as a physical abrasive, subbing its stiff hairs for commercial bristles to scrub things like kitchenware and household tools sparkling clean! Talk about versatility.
The extract of horsetail is made from the green leafy part of this wondrous plant and, just like the whole plant itself, is said to offer many benefits. You know where we’re going with this! Let’s explore the various advantages of using horsetail extract for skin and how to incorporate it into your routine!
Horsetail Extract Skin Benefits
- It contains high amounts of silicon. Not to be confused with the synthetic rubbery stuff that is formed into everything from ice trays to makeup applicators, silicon is a completely natural element and one of the most abundant trace elements in the human body. Silicon is thought to strengthen everything from one’s organs, to bones, to the skin’s connective tissue. And with said strengthening of the skin’s connective tissue comes increased resilience and flexibility, resulting in a more youthful appearance and tone. Horsetail contains more silicon than any other herb on the planet. More importantly, it features silicon in the highly synthesizable forms of silica and silica acids, which yields greater systemic absorption and a higher rate of benefit than any other source of the same element.
- It cleanses. Horsetail extract clarifies the skin for a cleaner, clearer complexion. It also helps to purge pores, helping to minimize their appearance for smoother, more evenly textured skin.
- It hydrates. Horsetail extract is loaded with vitamin B5, which can act as a powerful humectant. Incorporating horsetail extract, or horsetail extract infused products, into your routine can help plump up your skin with the moisture it needs to stay happy and peppy!
- It’s great for sensitive skin. A totally solid anti-inflammatory and super soother, topical horsetail extract is great for anyone who suffers from skin sensitivities, allergies, or inflammatory conditions like eczema.
- It is a natural antioxidant. Horsetail extract is a goldmine of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C! All of these work together to fend off the dreaded environmental stressor, protecting the skin against aging and sun damage. Further, horsetail extract is full of bioflavonoids, which work in tandem with vitamin C, helping the body to use it more effectively. Dream-team status!
How to Use Horsetail Extract
Horsetail extract can be incorporated into your routine and lifestyle in a variety of different ways. The simplest way is to source products that contain it for topical application. With its ability to clarify pores and cleanse skin for radically clean, minimized pores, a cleanser is a great option. Fleur & Bee’s So Clean! contains a blend of mild cleansers and moisturizers for perfectly balanced skin and features horsetail extract for a clean you can see and feel.
Moisturizers make great use of horsetail’s humectant powers, helping to draw moisture to the skin for voluminous hydration and a youthful appearance. Our H2 Oh Yeah blends the hydro-power of horsetail extract with other humectants like hyaluronic acid and skin-healthy oils for all-day moisture.
You can also find horsetail peppered throughout the supplement market, in things like tinctures and capsules, often for oral consumption. These are definitely options, but be advised that they may pose risks for some populations – the same populations that would experience virtually no risk when applying horsetail extract topically. Either way, one should always consult with their physician when seeking to make any changes to their supplement or skincare regimen.
Topical use of this ancient and widely used herb poses little to no risk for users of all demographics, especially when one considers its potential to soothe and protect even your most sensitive skin.
So, when it comes to incorporating horsetail extract into your skincare routine, don’t say “Nay!” Say “Neigh!”
…Which is obviously horse for “Heck, Yeah!” Oh, you didn’t know?! Good thing you’ve got F&B to keep you relevant!