Horsetail, also known as Shavegrass, Bottle Brush or by its scientific name Equisetum arvense, is a perennial plant that resembles a horse’s tail. It commonly grows in North America, Asia, and Europe. Horsetail contains important nutrients that support the health of the skin, including iron, manganese, silica and various antioxidants. Additionally, horsetail is known to possess antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Two Primary Mechanisms of Aging Skin
Intrinsic aging is the unavoidable aspect of skin aging, which involves the natural atrophy, reduction of skin fibroblasts, and the thinning of blood vessels. The collagen fibers of the skin are particularly affected in this process, resulting in the irreversible degenerative changes associated with skin aging.
Extrinsic aging primarily results from damage caused by external factors such as photoaging, smoking, pollution, poor diet, bad sleep, and other lifestyle factors. These stressing factors can be avoided and minimized. However, while present, they lead to degradation of the skin and end up decreasing the integrity of collagen, elastin, extracellular matrix proteins, and skin fibroblasts. They can also contribute to a strong reduction of silicon levels and hyaluronic acid in the skin.
Collagen, Silica & Horsetail
Collagen fibers are not just necessary for smooth skin, but also the biomechanical properties of the skin. The skin’s biomechanical properties allow it to act as an organ as well as a barrier system that protects from external stressors. Any significant reduction in the amount of collagen in the skin results in thinner skin and loss of elasticity, which is directly related to wrinkles.
Based on this, supplements that positively influence the biosynthesis of collagen are great for improving and preventing skin aging. One substance that aids the production of collagen is silica, a mineral that horsetail happens to be rich in!
Silica is reduced with aging and stress, which is why supplementing with horsetail extract provides an excellent way to get it. As a result, the biosynthesis of collagen is positively influenced.
Other Skin Benefits of Horsetail
In addition to providing a key building block for collagen production, horsetail has other benefits. Here is a list of them:
• Antioxidant Activity
One of the two factors in skin aging is oxidative stress, which is damage done to cells by reactive oxygen species. These unstable cells steal energy from stable cells, causing damage to the integrity of the cell.
The antioxidants in horsetail serve to protect the cells by “donating” electrons that stabilize free radicals. Preventing free radical damage will preserve the health of the skin cells, thus preventing skin aging on a cellular level.
• Anti-inflammatory Properties
Once the cell is damaged, it does not properly metabolize and oxidize energy. This results in inflammation. It is a normal response, but when chronic, it can lead to redness, pain, and more free radicals, which starts a vicious cycle of damage. In fact, most skin problems such as acne, rosacea, and eczema are all the result of chronic inflammation.
Reducing inflammation is a smart goal for preventing further damage of the skin cells. Horsetail provides relief from inflammation, making it a great tool for supporting the longevity of the skin.
The anti-aging, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory benefits of horsetail extract can be reaped when applied to the skin. Used topically, horsetail can promote the healing of rashes, burns, and wounds by acting as an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.
Its antioxidant content helps to soothe and calm the skin, which is why we actually add horsetail extract to our Pearl Cleanser. Consistent use can result in skin that looks noticeably younger, healthier, and more radiant.
Were you previously aware of horsetail’s skin benefits? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!