Ingredient Spotlight: Eyebright
As we peruse through the list of ingredients in our skin care and body care products, we often come across things we either can’t pronounce or we don’t know what they are. In today’s case, Eyebright is easy to say—but it can still be a bit of a mystery for quite a lot of people.
Let’s take a look at what Eyebright is, what it does, and what types of products it is used in.
What Is Eyebright?
Although it may sound like a modern ingredient that was named by a clever marketing agency, it’s not. With hundreds of years of historical use, Eyebright is actually a naturally occurring herb that has green leaves and small white flowers with a yellow center.
Sometimes called by its Greek name, Euphrasia officinalis, it has been used in traditional herbal medicine for centuries, particularly in Europe. Its common name, Eyebright, is derived from the fact that it has a history of being used homeopathically for its benefits to eye health, including the reduction of redness and irritation.
This herb naturally grows in Europe, North America and Asia. It is a small plant, ranging from just 2-8 inches tall, that blooms for only a few months out of the year. The highly sought-after health benefits of the Eyebright can be derived through the use of the flowers, stems and leaves made into a dietary supplement, an herbal tea, or blended into topical creams and oils.
What Does Eyebright Do?
Containing various natural compounds, Eyebright is found to have beneficial properties for health and healing in a variety of ways. It is especially used in skincare and the health of the eyes. Here’s a peek at some of the helpful compounds and properties associated with Eyebright:
Carrying anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant and polyphenol benefits, the flavonoids contained in Eyebright effectively promote healthy looking skin and reduce the presence of harmful free radicals that come from then environment.
Reducing the impact of tissue scarring, irioids contained in Eyebright (particularly aucubin) may reduce oxidative damage caused by toxins that can contribute to skin damage resulting in wrinkles, pigmentation, and even possibly the risk of skin cancer.
A, B, C and E vitamins are all contained in Eyebright, making it useful for maintaining the overall health of the skin:
- Vitamin A is known to stimulate the production of collagen, reduce problem areas such as brown spots or acne, and repair damage to skin cells
- Vitamin B promotes the healing process to reduce skin discomfort from eczema, dermatitis, or rosacea
- Vitamin C protects the skin from damage caused by the sun or environmental factors. It can also aid in providing a moisture boost
- Vitamin E wards off damage from the sun, speeds up the process of healing and reduces signs of aging
Zinc, Selenium and Copper are minerals found in Eyebright that are known to be beneficial to the skin:
- Zinc’s anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for helping reduce the appearance of acne and scarring
- Selenium is rich in anti-oxidants that help to reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals
- Copper promotes the production of elastin and collagen, plumping and lifting to maintain the skin’s youthful elasticity
Eyebright is known to have astringent properties, which means the skin cells are caused to contract and tighten, making the pores look smaller, as well as reducing the appearance wrinkles and fine lines.
Prevents the growth of certain types of infections, whether related to acne breakouts or eye infections (this may be particularly useful for people who are prone to eye infections from the use of makeup.)
How is Eyebright Used in Skin Care?
As a natural additive to skin care products, Eyebright offers a significant number of benefits to promote skin health and reduce problem areas. You may find Eyebright in high-quality, natural skin care products such as moisturizers, face washes, facial toners and more.
Because it is specifically targeted for the eyes, Eyebright is often found in eye creams that are created to gently care for the delicate skin under and around the eyes. It is usually combined with other natural ingredients that are also gentle on the skin. pennyRae's Eye Cream, for instance, contains Eyebright, Carrot seed oil, Fennel oil, Calendula and Violet.
For brighter eyes, reduced puffiness, minimized skin sagging and much more, Eyebright is the ingredient to watch when used in eye creams and other natural, organic skin care products.