How To Grow Your Own Beauty Garden

Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Botanical extracts, essential oils, and nut butters are all the rage. And for some, "synthetic" is almost a beauty curse word. But who can tell how much "natural" actually ends up in our all-natural products? Which got us thinking, Nancy Botwin-style: How hard would it be to, uh, grow our own?
As it turns out, it's actually not as challenging as you might think. Tara Heibel of Sprout Home Chicago and Jeannette Graf, MD, dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, have teamed up to lay out a plan for growing the most beauty-beneficial plants, and dished intel on their benefits and uses.
Before we dig in, Heibel says there are a couple of things to take into account. "Know your conditions — as in, light — and how you are able to care for a plant," she says. "Each person’s house is different, and each person cares for plants differently. If your living conditions or lifestyle aren't suitable for the plant you want, consider other options that would be a better fit." (That's her nice way of saying if you're never home and can't keep a cactus alive, you may not want to sign up for the most finicky of plants.)
As for actually rolling up your sleeves and using your harvest, Dr. Graf stresses the importance of a patch test or physician consult before trying homemade recipes. Also, for your skin's sake, be mindful of providing fresh, clean soil. Last time we checked, pesticides weren't great for our complexions.
Okay, now for the fun part. Click through to check out how to care for and use the following 11 plants in your daily beauty life. You'll be green-thumbing it up in no time.

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