Dandelions for Skincare - What Does Science Say?


During the past few months I have been exploring a few different uses for dandelions in products and have been pretty impressed at what this common plant has to offer.

Useless weed?

Ahem.

Think again.

Even science agrees dandelions 'warrant further study'.

Science usually says this kind of thing when it finds evidence that some of the folklore claims aren't all fairy tales and fantasy.

And it's true: there is hidden treasure in this multifunctional plant.

Shall we take a closer look at dandelions?


Infused and Used

Pictured above is a side-by-side infusion I did earlier this year of dandelion blossoms and the leaves-and-stems in 2 different oils.

I combined these 2 infused oils with a few other other plant-based soothing ingredients into a balm for myself. This was a combination of tests, research, experimentation, and (ok, I admit it) playing around.

When I get results that both surprise and delight, I am inspired to dig even more. Meantime, I thought I'd share what I've found so far with you.

Dandelions Have Healing Properties

Science agrees the chemical composition of Taraxacum officinale (that's INCI for dandelion) makes it helpful and useful for numerous medical conditions and ailments.

Dandelions are
  • antioxidative
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antimicrobial (to some degree)
  • diuretic
  • tonic

All that from a weed most homeowners are trying to banish from their gardens.

Extraction Methods are Up for Discussion

The latest scientific articles I have found on dandelions seem to be focused on examination of which plant part has the most to offer in the way of actives. Some studies are focussed on the root while others are even looking at plant part depending on what time of year it is harvested for extraction.

Extraction methods are also being examined for which is most efficient. Ethanol extraction seems to be getting the most attention, although there are a few scientific souls looking into oil extraction as we speak.

If you want to see where I've been digging, check the links below for more information.


LisaLise Soothing Dandelion Balm Experiment

As for me and my original inspiration for getting more serious about this plant, it was a comment about possible pain relief that caught my attention. Admittedly, the commenter was taking it internally (by the drop as a tincture), but the idea of seeing if topical application might provide some pain relief got me interested enough to start a few infusions and make a balm for tired aching feet.

You know when you have been on your feet all day and your feet start yelling at you to sit down? That kind of aching.

Here's balm batch one. I've already been through it because darned if it didn't surprise me in a good way.


I got such a great response from my extensive test team (foot left and foot right) that I have already done additional batches and handed out a samples to a few willing testers.

Still waiting on feedback, but I will update on whether or not dandelions are the be-all, end-all cure for pain.

(I doubt it, but at least my feet are responding well).

Do Tell

Do you use dandelions in any of your skincare products? Please share what your experiences are in a comment below!


More About Dandelions: Nerdy Stuff

Total Phenolic Content, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities of Some Medicinal Plants
Dandelion (taracum officinale and T Mongolicum), Erik Yarnell, Kathy Abascal
Taraxacum Officiale herb as an Antiinflammatory Medicine, American Journal of Advanced Drug delivery
Taraxacum- a review on its phytochemical and pharmacological profile
Anti inflammatory evaluation of the methanolic extract of taraxacum officinale in LPS stimulated human umbilical vein endolethial cells (not oil extracted, but still interesting)
Topical herbal Therapies and Alternative and Complementary Choice to Combat Acne 
Investigation of bioactive compounds from taraxacum officinale and morus nigra
Taraxacum: an overview (Science Direct)
Qualitative and Quantitative analysis of phytochemicals of Taraxacum Officinale

More About Dandelions: Lighter Reading

How to dry the blossoms

Comments

vhingsamer said…
Extensive test team- foot left and right, you crack me up, my dear!
Lise M Andersen said…
vhingsamer - aww thank you for your kind comment 💗
Jade Violet said…
Hi, very interesting post! Did you find that the dandelion worked well for the foot aches on it's own, or when combined with other plant-based soothing ingredients?
Lise M Andersen said…
Hi Jade Violet — I did combine it with other infusions for this balm, but the other herbs were ones I had used before. The dandelions were new to this balm so they are getting the credit for now. :)