S’mores, pies, cupcakes and now in your beauty products – your favourite holiday treat, marshmallow, has a new role to add to its résumé. Before you melt your stash to slather it on your face, hold up – it’s the root that works its magic in your skincare and haircare potions, not the sugary treat. (If you’re wondering, the marshmallows that you eat are made from the root’s powder, so there.)
Turns out the humble marshmallow plant (also known as althaea, which sounds prettier, really) features strongly in tinctures, extracts and as tea leaves, and has a long history of medicinal benefits, dating back to the ancient Greeks who used it to treat wounds – which is what althaea means, by the way – to heal. What makes it such a beneficial healer? When mixed with water, it forms a gel-like consistency thanks to the root’s texture, which allows you to harness its moisturizing, soothing, anti-inflammatory powers when used directly on the skin. Pretty much a boon to those dealing with skin ailments like eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. The naturally hydrating ingredient also contains some concentrations of ceramide precursors – or the things that help speed up the skin’s cell regeneration – to help erase those wrinkles and fine lines. Only furthers the ‘if it's good enough to eat, it's good for your skin' belief!
When it comes to hair, the root’s great because its mucilage binds to the hair proteins to make your strands look thicker, while its slippery nature also aids in conditioning and detangling – herbalists love using the stuff on dry, brittle hair. Sweet, right?
Here are a few of our favourite products with the beauty treat in the mix – go binge!