The old ways of using herbs have really fallen out of "style" and this is not only sad, but has impacted our overall health as a nation and a world. Historically- we knew what herbs to eat for certain ailments and we not only did that and nibbled at them when we came across them but also stored them in our homes regularly. Now we turn to packaged teas and things in capsules if we are using herbal remedies. Few people keep a knowledge bank and some dried herbs in the cabinet.
Herbal remedies have not only been substantiated by science in the past 20 years, but we have validated that humans knew what they were for long before such scientific methods even existed.
Skin care is also not a new idea as wound treatment has always been taken seriously by herbalists. We have moved far far away from the mainstay *herbal poultice* and this is sad because herbs like comfrey and calendula have been proven to provide skin with nutrients that foster collagen production and provide the epidermis with nutrients it requires to heal when applied topically.
Now, a typical current lotion or cleanser that touts the inclusion of herbs is a far far cry from a traditional herbal poultice where the herbs are whetted and applied directly to the affected area. These products have usually made a light tea of the herbs listed and added it in with other water and fillers. We cannot expect the full range of the herb's constituents to be present after processing, nor can be as strong as nature intended.
This is not to say that stronger is better when it comes to herbs, but what is better is opening up the herb with water and using it immediately.
This is how I created my facewashes. The bases are already made with extremely healing, potent, whole ingredients that are ground fresh. They are also just that, a BASE to deliver the herbs to your skin at the right ratio for maximum healing. You, too, can create such herbal poultices at home. Comfrey, Caledula, and Meadowsweet are three top choices I would have for what to keep in the cabinet for wounds and irritation.