Our Guide to Ginseng: The Miracle Skincare Herb

I know what you’re thinking - Ginseng? Isn’t that a root? Why would I want that in my skincare? 

Here’s the thing - this root is better for more than just it’s health benefits. More and more skincare brands are including it in their products, and for good reason. You won’t want to miss out on this amazing natural skincare ingredient. 

First, let’s go through exactly what ginseng is - while it’s a relatively new ingredient in the skincare world, it has a long and rich history as a miracle herb. 

La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion product image on white background

La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion | $365
A potent essence that delivers the benefits of Panax Ginseng, Caviar, and Horsetail Plant Extract to skin.

What is Ginseng?

Ginseng refers to a specific group of plants that grow in East Asia and North America. Unlike other plant-based skincare ingredients, all of the good stuff is found in the root - not the fruit and leaves.

And here’s the thing - ginseng isn’t just any ordinary root, either. It has a long history of use in East Asian folk medicine, and can be consumed a few different ways to reap the health benefits. These alleged benefits of consuming ginseng include improving memory, boosting energy, and lowering blood sugar - just to name a few. It has a great reputation as an all-around health tonic, which is responsible for it’s continued popularity today. 

It’s a slow-growing plant - depending on the variety, the best time to harvest is after 4-6 years. That’s a long time to wait for some skincare, but it’s totally worth it. This also means you’re less likely to find it in regular skincare at the pharmacy - it’s a harder ingredient to get a hold of, and features prominently in both Korean and European luxury brands.  

La Prairie White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire Eye Cream product image on white background

La Prairie White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire | $805
La Prairie skincare uses Panax Ginseng Extract as part of their patented Cellular Complex blend - and this eye cream is no exception.

Skincare Benefits of Ginseng

Now, the reason that it’s catching on as a skincare ingredient is because it’s just so good for your skin. Ginseng is a skincare ingredient that should be in everyone’s skincare routine because it’s just such a great allrounder and benefits every skin type and every skin concern. 

The molecules unique to ginseng even have their own classification - ginsenosides. They’re exclusively found in ginseng plants and are responsible for all the benefits this plant has. 

If you’re still on the fence about ginseng, you won’t be after this!

Powerful Antioxidant Ability

As we know very well by now, antioxidants are what shield skin from environmental stressors such as ultraviolet light, pollution, and cigarette smoke. Antioxidants are key to helping your skin stay stress and wrinkle-free for longer - to really get into the nitty gritty, they’re incredibly effective at reducing oxidative stress from free radicals on your skin, which would normally lead to premature wrinkles and signs of ageing forming. 

Reduces Appearance of Sun Damage

While preventing sun damage in the first place is the ideal course of action, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to do anything about it - especially with ginseng. A 2007 Korean study examined the effects of ginseng on reversing UVB ray damage, and found that Korean Ginseng (aka Panax Ginseng) was incredibly effective at reversing visible sun damage

Boosts Collagen & Firms Skin

Another superpower that ginseng has is it’s ability to spur on collagen production. Getting our skin to produce more collagen can be challenging, as it naturally drops over time. However, ginseng is one of those fantastic ingredients that targets fibroblasts for higher collagen levels and fewer wrinkles.

The other major benefit to boosted collagen production is firmer skin - more collagen means skin has more structure to it, and won’t sag as quickly as it normally would!

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream product image on white background

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream | $690
A rich and nourishing cream packed with the goodness of caviar and ginseng to rejuvenate skin. 

Fades Hyperpigmentation

One of the most highly-rated abilities of ginseng is its effect on melanin - it’s a miracle worker when it comes to evening out skin tone. Ingredients like this tend to be referred to melanin inhibitors - it means that they specifically target melanocytes, the cells responsible for creating melanin in our skin. 

What this means is that it’s great for regulating excess melanin production in skin. Remember, melanin is the pigment that gives our skin, eyes, and hair it’s colour. Sometimes, our skin produces too much of it too unevenly, resulting in uneven skin patches and noticeable dark spots, like the ones you’d get after a breakout.

By inhibiting excess melanin production, ginseng can help skin stay even toned and flawless.

Reduces Inflammation

This is good news for everyone who has skin prone to irritation and redness - just like centella, ginseng is an exceptional natural anti-inflammatory with the ability to soothe skin and reduce redness. 

However, anti-inflammatory benefits do so much more than just calm irritable skin - these same anti-inflammatory abilities may help calm down skin that’s red and inflamed from breakouts, relieving any discomfort that breakouts can cause on skin and potentially reduce likelihood of post-inflammatory marks.

Here’s the bottom line - ginseng is an amazing skincare ingredient, and it’s got benefits for every skin type and concern. If you’re still working on creating a skincare routine, try our skincare quiz! It’ll give you a completely customised routine based on your skin type and skin goals. Give it a try and get your beauty affairs together!

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Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne is a passionate beauty writer with over 10 years of experience. She’s incredibly keen on all things skincare, makeup and cosmetics, with a fingertip on the pulse of the latest global beauty trends at all times.

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