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Ingredient Spotlight: The Skin Benefits of Mugwort (Artemisia)

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Let’s talk about mugwort!

Mugwort or, Artemisia (sometimes labeled as this), is the current “it” skincare ingredient coming out of South Korea. Previous “it” ingredients include things like snail mucin, donkey milk, and centella (cica) (all of which are still fairly popular).

If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that when a specific ingredient becomes popular in South Korea, very quickly we will see a multitude of brands releasing products or even entire lines focused on it.

So is mugwort just another trend or does it deserve a place in our skincare routines?

What is mugwort?

Mugwort is a weed (genus Artemisia) that grows freely all over South Korea (and many other parts of the world). It has an important place in Korean culture, especially in Korean traditional medicine (한의학, Hanuihak).

Throughout history mugwort has been used to treat all sorts of aliments, ranging from easing menstruation pains to relieving digestive stress. In South Korea, it is even commonly added to herbal baths at public bathhouses.

Mugwort has a lot of toted benefits when ingested, but what about applying it to our skin? Does the hype add up?

Well, yes! It certainly seems that way!

Mugwort is a bit of a superhero in skincare.

It’s…

  • antibacterial

  • antimicrobial

  • antifungal

  • AND anti-inflammatory

That’s a whole lot of “antis” for one little weed to sport! It’s also high in antioxidants which are key in preventing UV damage from the sun.

Mugwort often gets compared to ingredients like tea tree oil (for the reasons above) and vitamin C (antioxidants).

So what does all of the above actually do for our skin?

 

Mugwort is a fantastic ingredient for those with sensitive, irritated, and/or acne prone skin. It is even suggested for people who have psoriasis and eczema!

 

We know it’s great for calming irritated skin, and though there is no scientific research (yet), it is suggested it is likely good for treating/preventing acne too. This is due to all the “anti” components listed above.

I want to add mugwort to my routine, where should I use it?

The good news is that there are lots of different products containing mugwort (mostly coming out of South Korea) that you can use in any step at your routine!

Let’s look at some of the most popular ones below (contains affiliate links, learn more).

Hanyul Pure Artemisia Cleansing Oil

This cleansing oil would make a nice first step in your evening cleansing routine. Strong enough to break down tough-to-wash-off sunscreens and makeup, yet gentle enough for sensitive, irritated skin. Apply this gently to dry skin, massing in circles before adding water.

Hanyul Pure Artemisia Mild Cleansing Foam

Another good choice from Hanyul, this mild cleansing foam would make a nice second step in a cleansing routine. This mild foam cleanser doesn’t contain any synthetic colors, mineral oils, or sulfate surfactants. It would be a nice, gentle choice is you have overly sensitive skin.

Missha Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence

Missha has a few mugwort (artemisia) products, and their essence is one of the most popular. Use this in your routine after you cleanse/tone. If you have irritated skin you should probably see some good calming results. It’s non-comedogenic and suitable for those of us with acne prone skin.

BRING GREEN Artemisia Calming Intensive Serum

BRING GREEN is another line with quite a few Artemisia (mugwort) products available (toner, calming repair cream) and this serum is a great choice! Layer your serum on prior to your moisturizer. A good choice if redness/irritation are concerns you have.

Isntree Spot Saver Mugwort Cream

Isntree also has a few mugwort products available. They claim to use an extraction method called “Time Drop”, which is suppossed to keep the mugwort at it’s maximum potency (and maximum skincare benefits). This cream is supposed to be extremely nourishing and would like be a good choice for someone with a damaged moisture barrier.

Holika Holika Pure Essence Mask Sheet

Fear not, sheet mask fans! The calming benefits of mugwort are also available in sheet mask form! This choice from Holika Holika would be good for the person not yet wanting to fully commit to mugwort, but instead would like a small taste! Holika Holika also claims to use a specific extraction method which ensures maximum mugwort potency.

I’M FROM Mugwort Mask

Still want a mask but aren’t a fan of the sheet? Here you go! The I’M FROM Mugwot Mask is a wash off mask that contains 2.1% mugwort. This gel formulation actually contains mugwort powder and boats similar calming benefits as the products above. This would be a great choice for someone who experiences only occasional irritation and wants something to calm their skin during those times.

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