Known for many health benefits, including the ability to help ease your mind, St. John’s wort is also beneficial for the skin. Full of powerful flavonoids, it helps protect and soothe.
Whether you have oily or dry skin, this herb helps your skin look smoother and healthier. Plus, it helps plump your look and hydrate skin while reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
A little more about this ingredient
Scientifically called Hypericum perforatum, St. John’s wort is also nicknamed goatweed, amber, Klamath weed, and tipton weed. A shrubby perennial plant, it has bright, yellow 5-petaled flowers. The story goes that it got its name from St. John the Baptist, whose birthday was June 24—around the time the flowers usually bloom. “Wort” means “plant” in Old English. The scientific name “Hypericum” comes from the Greek words “hyper” (above) and “eikon” (picture), and referred to the practice of hanging plants over a religious icon to ward off evil during St. John’s day.
Native to Europe, West Asia, and North Africa, St. John’s wort is now prevalent in many parts of the world. It likes temperate areas and grows wild in meadows. The stems are erect and can grow up to about three feet high, with opposing, narrow oblong leaves. The flowers, however, are the part of the plant used to make the extract.
How to distinguish it
You can identify this plant by noticing the transparent “dots’ throughout the tissue, or the black dots on the lower surface of the leaves. If you look at the leaves through the light, you’ll notice the dotted appearance. The plant is grown commercially in many areas, but is listed as a noxious weed in many countries. It can replace native plant communities and dominate the area, upsetting natural ecosystems.
Internal health benefits of St. John's Wort
St. John’s wort has good evidence behind it as an herbal remedy for alleviating the occasional blues.
St. John’s wort may also help with premenstrual syndrome, symptoms of menopause, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social phobias. Standard doses are 300 mg standardized to 0.3 percent hypericin extract, three times a day.
Benefits to the skin
Like so many natural plant ingredients, St. John’s wort has a number of benefits when applied topically to the skin. These include:
- Support a firm look: St. John’s wort reduces the appearance of fine lines.
- Hydrating: It has natural essential oils in it that hydrate and plump up the look of your skin, making it appear more fresh and dewy.
- Soothing: It's great for sensitive skin. It also contains tannins—similar compounds to those found in tea.
Note: When taken internally, St. John’s wort can increase photosensitivity in the skin, making it more vulnerable to potential UV damage.
We use St. John’s wort in our Anti-Aging Eye Cream. This formula is full of other plant ingredients, all of which have antioxidants that protect and help plump and hydrate the appearance of the area around the eyes.