Milk Thistle Benefits for Anti-Aging, Acne, Inflammation & More
The benefits of milk thistle are becoming well-known in skincare, and for good reason. Here’s how you can use this natural ingredient to keep your skin young and healthy.
If you’re tired of all the chemical-laden skin creams that overpromise and underdeliver, you’re going to love this little plant. It’s known as milk thistle, and while it may not look very pretty, it can leave your skin looking younger longer – without the use of commercial skin irritants.
Read on to see what makes this odd plant one of nature’s easiest ways to “turn back the clock.”
What Is Milk Thistle?
It may be one of the uglier members of the daisy family, but it certainly packs quite a punch. This plant has red or purple flowers and spiky-looking leaves.
While originally grown only in Asia and southern parts of Europe, it’s now successfully cultivated around the world.
It was used in ancient Roman times to treat a variety of conditions, particularly those relating to the liver and gall bladder.
Some people use the term “silymarin” interchangeably with milk thistle, but silymarin simply refers to the medicinal properties found in the plant’s seeds.
What Are the Benefits of Milk Thistle Extract?
The uses of milk thistle have certainly multiplied since ancient days. Today, it’s popping up in beauty applications everywhere – and for good reason. It’s known worldwide as a highly effective, anti-aging herb.
Its antioxidants protect the skin from free radicals and from the pollutants that surround us every day. When used topically, it can also protect against UVA and UVB damage. All of these elements lead to premature aging, and UV radiation can even cause oxidative stress – a precursor to some skin cancers.
Research shows that milk thistle can directly slow aging skin because it is antiglycation. Glycation is an aging reaction between the sugar and proteins in your skin. The bridges between protein and sugar is what makes skin supple. These start to break down at age 30 and increase regularly as you get older. It directly inhibits this process on a cellular level.
It has also been found to improve rosacea, itching, and redness because it work as a potent anti-inflammatory.
he linoleic acid in the herb improves cell membranes, making skin cells less permeable to dangerous chemicals and pollutants.
Use Milk Thistle to Fight Acne, Treat Liver Disease and More
As fantastic as its anti-aging properties are, milk thistle uses for the skin don’t stop there. It’s also a powerful acne treatment even when taken internally.
When taken orally, it flushes toxins from the liver, helping to clear and purify the skin. As the liver clears up, individuals notice a healthier chemical balance in their skin, which often results in a blemish-free glow.
Of course, milk thistle is still widely used as a liver detoxifier. While it was used in ancient times to treat mushroom poisoning, it is now used to improve liver function, as in the case of alcohol-related liver disease.
As a natural detoxifier, it draws toxins out of the body, clears up gallbladder issues and relieves the ill effects of chemotherapy. In fact, this herb has even been shown to reverse damage to the liver from medications, industrial toxins, heavy metals and pollution.
Other milk thistle benefits include:
- Decreasing high cholesterol
- Improving insulin resistance (a key component of type 2 diabetes)
- Decreasing the risk of cancers
- Improving the immune system
Best Forms of Milk Thistle & Where to Get It
There are 3 main ways to reap the benefits of this flower. The first is as an oral supplement containing its extract.
Another option is to drink milk thistle tea, which is mainly beneficial for those wanting to purify their livers slowly. The best teas use the leaves and seeds from the plant.
For its skin benefits, you should go for a topical cream or lotion. Many companies sell milk thistle creams, but search for creams with only organic ingredients to ensure you’re getting the highest quality.
To find premium milk thistle for oral or topical use, you’ll probably have to buy it online, though you might get lucky and find it at your local health food store.
How to Use Milk Thistle
Topical creams containing milk thistle should be applied directly to the problem areas, such as blemishes, wrinkles or redness. It can be used once or twice per day, and many people report results in as little as 2 weeks.
For oral use, look for capsules that supply no more than 150 milligrams of extract per day – unless you’re doing a temporary liver cleanse, in which case you could take more.
Today, individuals around the world can harness the amazing benefits of milk thistle just as ancient cultures did.
While it remains a powerful liver cleanser, it is growing more and more popular in the skincare industry for its remarkable anti-aging properties. Even those without lines, wrinkles, and age spots can prevent future skin damage with the powerful antioxidants in milk thistle.
Give it a try and let us know what changes it makes for you!