Cica, aka centella asiatica, is not the solely leafy inexperienced sprouting up in dozens of Korean skin-care merchandise these days. Mugwort is taking up ingredient lists, too, together with that of Attract Korea’s Better of Magnificence Award-winning oil cleanser.
Fascinated by its identify alone, I launched into a mugwort deep dive that went all the best way again to Greek mythology. Positive, each time I’ve talked about mugwort in passing, folks instantly consider Harry Potter. (In actual life, it does have magical powers, relying on who you ask.) However mugwort, or Artemisia Princeps, has a coincidental connection to Artemis, the Greek goddess of childbirth and identified for shielding girls and women. Preserve scrolling to search out out the fascinating origins of mugwort and why it is a tremendous ingredient for dry, irritated pores and skin.
What precisely is mugwort?
To place it merely, mugwort is a weed. It is a weed that is absinthe adjoining, although. Artemisia, it is genus, additionally consists of wormwood, which is a key ingredient within the hallucinogenic, inexperienced elixir, as Charlotte Cho, an aesthetician and co-founder of Ok-beauty e-retailer Soko Glam, factors out. Tarragon, an fragrant herb utilized in cooking, is in the identical household, too.
In Korea, mugwort is thought to be a therapeutic herb for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and skin-protective properties. Referred to as ssuk (쑥), legend has it that mugwort was behind the creation of the primary Korean dynasty, in accordance with Janelle Kim, an herbalist. In response to Korean mythology, a bear and a tiger needed to grow to be human, so Hwanung, the son of the” Lord of Heaven,” examined them by placing them in a cave with some mugwort and garlic and advised them to remain there for 100 days. The bear had sufficient after 21 days, however the bear stayed affected person and was became a lady named Hwanung who later gave delivery to Dangun, who based the primary Korean Dynasty, Gojoseon.
As of late, Korean delicacies (like rice desserts), conventional Korean medication, and Korean homeopathic treatments typically incorporate mugwort for these causes. Girls, particularly, swear by sipping it in tea type to assist regulate their menstrual cycles and ease interval cramps. That is the place the ironic Artemis connection is available in. At conventional bathhouses, you may as well soak in mugwort-infused baths.
Kim says mugwort is one in every of a sort. Nevertheless, Austin-based dermatologist Ted Lain likens mugwort to vitamin C as a result of they’re each full of antioxidants. Beauty chemist Ginger King, alternatively, compares it to tea tree, which naturally kills micro organism and fights breakouts, however “with a greater sage-like scent.”
How else does mugwort assist pores and skin?
Though mugwort has been part of Korean tradition since principally the start of time, “we’re seeing extra Korean magnificence merchandise designed to appease and deal with delicate pores and skin, in addition to acne-prone pores and skin, utilizing mugwort,” Cho says.
Because of its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties, mugwort targets dry, irritated pores and skin successfully. New York Metropolis-based dermatologist Rachel Nazarian says it is even an acceptable remedy for pores and skin circumstances corresponding to eczema (or atopic dermatitis) and psoriasis. To get extra technical, King cites vitamin E as a part of mugwort, and which helps pores and skin retain moisture. Mugwort can even “relieve redness on pores and skin,” she provides.
The herb additionally has smoothing, protecting powers match for mature pores and skin, too. “Mouse- and cell-based trials reveal that mugwort acts as an antioxidant, serving to stop harm attributable to ultraviolet rays, in addition to a collagen stimulator, to assist scale back the looks of effective strains,” Lain explains. With this in thoughts, Kim says mugwort additionally makes pores and skin look extra radiant.